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Its History and Its Builders 

A Half Century of Activity 




Chicago, Illinois 



1 B 




















































cooM — Bradley's chastisement of peshnekai — a ghost 






blue wing tragedy first celebration of july 4 in 

steilacoom 77 







MOB 87 



mill's last cargo JOB CARR COMES EARLY IN 1865 LAYS 





























































CARVER's disappointment C. P. ferry's EXPLANATION 
























dickens' comments on THE "ciTY OF DESTINy" GENERAL 

sprague's popularity 206 





mill company opens a mint cogswells build livery sta- 
ble and carry the mail pacific avenue lots sell at 

$200 chinese kill their foreman town plat by 

ol]mstead rejected colonel smith makes new plat 

"potato" brooks, "tin-horn," makes a "getaway". . . .219 


1874 PACIFIC avenue a "magnificent drive" PUBLIC HALLS 








BUILT — isAxVC ^y. Anderson's first Sunday in tacoma — Sam- 



MINES A "get-together" CHRISTMAS PARTY 234 










































w. D. Tyler's coming — n. p. makes saveeping reductions — 














""tACOMA^^^VILLARD's collapse a blow to PORTLAND AND 

























CASE 328 















"new era brotherhood" MAYOR CALLS MASS MEETING 











\ CONTENTS xiii 






















CAPE 409 



1888 DENNIS RYAN's smelter plans COUNTY BUYS LOTS FOR 










































"free" waterfront plans NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD 






a , 
































AVAY '^37 









Taconia has had an unusual history. The first settlers fright- 
ened away by painted Indians on the warpath, there followed 
a period in which nature, with brush, briar and alder, almost 
obliterated the footprints of those pioneers of the early '50s. For 
some time this peninsula was abandoned to Indians and wild 
animals, and the point of interest was Steilacoom — wonderful 
old Steilacoom, a storehouse of precious history. 

Then came Job Carr, to Old Tacoma ; M. M. McCarver, with 
a New Tacoma ; the North Pacific Railway Co. north from the 
Columbia River, its Trans-Cascade line still fourteen years in 
the future. The Cooke crash, the long period of depression, the 
dazzling revival, and the surging' on, in spite of tremendous 
opposition, to the high tide of the early '90s — a Midas regime — 
then another ebb; slow, but definite and substantial revival; all 
this is set forth, with an attempt all the while to describe the bold 
hearts who built and fell and rose ; and the city rose with them. 

Tacoma has nothing to regret in her ancestry ; it is honorable. 
She has nurtured, and been nurtured by, strong men. She has 
overcome great obstacles and has triumphed. 

Forty-three years ago she had a sawmill and a hundred 
inhabitants; today she has 400 industries and more than 100,000 
inhabitants. It is magic! The miracle-working of the moderns! 
Less than fifty years ago no steamer would stop at Tacoma's 
single wharf, her mail came from Steilacoom by canoe or stage, 
and the nearest railroad was 250 miles away; today, to her 
miles of docks the steamers of all nations come, and four trans- 
continental railroads minister to her. 

Less than fifty years ago a handful of tumbledown shacks, 
squatting in the deep woods, marked the spot where today stand 
more than half a hundred squares of business blocks of brick, 



stone and concrete, acres of industrial j)lants, and miles of 

It is a romantic story. The crucible of history seldom has 
produced such a tale of city building. 

No history of Tacoma can be complete "without the pictur- 
esque memories of old Steilacoom; the pioneer life of the early 
settlers on the then almost untimbered prairies; the grim and 
perhaps forbidding shadow of the Hudson's Bay Company on the 
Nisqually plains. Few localities are set with a richer background. 

And when, out of the deep and silent woods on this peninsula 
there sprang the first white tents and humble cabins, and the 
rumble of trains was heard afar off, other phases, no less interest- 
ing, developed, yet even more difficult for the historian to sort, 
sift and classify. 

The eifort of this book is to picture persons and things; it 
purposes to avoid the Saharas of statistics as far as possible. It 
is the aim to reflect the real personalities of those who laid 
Tacoma's deep and broad foundations, and of those who now are 
piling stone upon stone in the fulfillment of the great design 
dreamed by their fathers. 

The author acknowledges his obligations to Roy H. Kay lor, 
an earnest student of northwestern history, for laborious research ; 
to William P. Bonney, secretary of the Washington State 
Historical Society; to George Himes, secretaiy of the Oregon 
Historical Society; to Rev. P. F. Hylebos, Rev. O, T. Mather, 
Rev. Dr A. D. Shaw, Benjamin Harvey, Richard T. Buchanan, 
Stuart Rice, City Librarian John B. Kaiser, Mary Lytic, Wil- 
liam P. Trowbridge, L. A. Nicholson, T. H. Martin, Fred C. 
Brewer, Oscar Cayton, the late Major O. B. Hayden, Arthur E. 
Grafton, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Hill, Elliott Kelly, Miss Julia 
Harris, Col. C. A. Snowden, Jerry Meeker and Henry Sicade, 
and to the mernbers of the Advisory Board and many others who 
have assisted in various ways in the compilation of these volumes. 


1792 — Capt. George Vancouver, of the British navy, is the 
first white man to see the present site of Tacoma from his camp 
near Dash Point. 

1824 — John Wark, of Hudson's Bay Company, passes by, 
and visits "Chilacoom." 

1833 — Nisqually House established by the Hudson's Bay 
Company. — Dr. Wm. F. Tohnie discovers glaciers on Mount 

1841 — Capt. Charles Wilkes, of the U. S. Navy, in charge of 
scientific exploration, visits and names Commencement Bay. 

1849 — Fort Steilacoom established. 

1852 — Nicholas DeLin builds sawmill at the head of Com- 
mencement Bay. 

1853 — Immigrants come through Naches Pass, and Peter 
Judson takes up claim embracing what was to become Tacoma's 
business district — Theodore Winthrop, the writer, passes through 
and discovers Indian name of Mount Tacoma^ — Pierce County 

• 1855 — Settlers frightened away by opening of Indian war 
and take refuge in Steilacoom. 

1857 — The DeLins return to head of bay — Lieutenant Kautz 
attempts ascent of Mount Tacoma. 

1865 — Job Carr takes up claim on what now is Old Tacoma. 

1868 — Gen. M. M. McCarver comes from Oregon, seeking a 
townsite — Fort Steilacoom abandoned. 

1869 — Sawmill built by Hanson, Ackerson & Co. — Name of 
town changed from "Commencement' City" to "Tacoma." 

1870 — Stevens and Van Trump reach topmost peak of 
Mount Tacoma. 

1873 — Tacoma chosen as Northern Pacific terminus and the 



railroad is completed to Blackwell's Hotel only twenty-four 
hours before charter expires — First church built. 

1874 — Town government authorized — Thomas Prosch starts 
first newspaper, the Pacific Tribune. 

1875 — First church built in New Tacoma, at South Seventh 
and C streets. 

1878— "Coal Road" completed. 

1880 — Population, U. S. Census Report, 1,098 — County seat 
removed from Steilacoom to Tacoma — New Tacoma town gov- 
ernment authorized — Theodore Hosmer made first mayor — 
First bank opened. 

1881 — Discovery of Stampede Pass — Smallpox scourges the 

1882 — Great coal bunkers completed. 

1883 — Longmire Springs discovered. 

1884 — Old and New Tacomas consolidated — Annie Wright 
Seminary built — Tacoma Hotel opened — Two costly fires on 
Pacific Avenue — Telephone introduced. 

188.5 — Chinese are driven out and twenty-seven Tacomans 
are indicted — Gas lighting introduced — First Polk directory 

1886 — Street's first lighted by electricity — Northern Pacific 
headquarters building erected. 

1887 — Switch])ack built by Northern Pacific Railroad over 
the Cascades and Tacoma holds great celebration. 

1888 — Nelson Bennett completes Stampede Tunnel — Great 
building period begins — University of Puget Sound estab- 
lished — Street cars begin operations — First wholesale house 
opens — Northern Pacific removes offices to Tacoma. 

1889 — Washington Territory becomes a state — Tacoma 
sends aid to fire-stricken Seattle. 

1890 — Population, U. S. Census Report, 36,006 — First 
Labor Day celebration — Tideflats dredging in progress — Miss 
Fay Fuller is first woman to ascend Mount Tacoma — Point 
Defiance car line opened — Tacoma Theatre opened. 

1891 — South Tacoma, Fern Hill, Oakes and Smelter addi- 
tions annexed — Street car plunges from DeLin Street bridge, 
with many fatalities — Western Washington Exposition opens — 
St. Joseph's Hospital opened. 


1892 — Arrival of Phra Nang, first steamer from Orient. 

1893 — City buys water and light plants — City Hall com- 
pleted — Pierce County courthouse built. 

1894 — Coxey's army departs under generalship of "Jumbo" 
Cantwell — First Eleventh Street bridge completed — Great slide 
on water front. 

1895 — Pacific Avenue paved — Wickersham's "JNIillion dol- 
lar" water and light suit in court — Edison becomes South 

1897 — Professor JNIcClure killed on Mount Tacoma — Klon- 
dyke excitement. 

1898— Spanish- American war calls Tacoma's Company C to 
the Orient. 

1899 — Sinking of Andelana and City of Kingston. 

1900— Population, U. S. Census Report, 37,714. 

1902 — Stone & Webster corporation takes over car lines — 
Interurban line completed through the valley to Seattle. 

1905 — Northern Pacific Hospital completed at cost of 
$175,000, with 150 beds. 

1906 — Stadium High School completed at cost of $300,- 

1907 — Felt's Pacific Traction Company builds line to Ameri- 
can Lake. 

1908 — Short line to Puyallup built — Organization of 
Tacoma Commercial Club. 

1909 — Great Northern Railroad enters Tacoma. 

1910 — Population, U. S. Census Report, 83,743^ — Stadium 
completed at cost of $159,638.46, with seating capacity of about 
twenty-four thousand — Federal Building completed — O.-W. 
Railroad enters Tacoma — Commission form of government 

1911 — Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad begins run- 
ning transcontinental trains to Tacoma, the terminus of the road 
—City buys Municipal Dock for $270,850, and spends $31,669 
in rebuilding — Union Passenger Station completed at cost of 

1912 — Point Defiance water grade line completed at cost of 
about $10,000,000 — Municipal powder plant at La Grande com- 


pleted at cost of $2,354,984.35, with maximum capacity of 32,000 
horse power — City Contagious Hospital built, costing $20,280. 

1913 — Green River gravity system is completed at cost of 
$2,537,000, with capacity of 40,000,000 gallons — New Central 
School building completed at cost of $256,000, including 
grounds — Eleventh Street lift bridge completed at cost of 

1914 — Railroads begin important freight yard development 
on tideflats — Building of O.-W. Railroad and wagon bridge to 
tideflats — Lincoln High School completed at cost of $436,607.68, 
and $75,000 for equipment. 

1915 — Completion of tideflats car line — New St. Joseph's 
and Tacoma General hospitals built — Reorganization of the 
Commercial Club. 

Dredging of Hylebos waterway begins — Beginning of 
important hotel and camp development on Mount Tacoma — • 
Estimated population, 104,000. 

History of Tacoma 







Sixty years ago what is now Tacoma's wholesale district on 
lower Pacific Avenue was a swamp, with the yellow flowers of the 
skunk cabbage proclaiming the fact. Dense timber covered the 
peninsula. Fine springs here and there poured their sparkling 
gifts through the tropic tangle into the sea. For decades, if not 
centuries, the Indians had camj^ed here. It was the red men's 
foregathering place for feasting and dancing, bear-hunting in the 
gulches where the salmon berries grew abundantly, and the long 
sloping beach about the head of the bay was white with the clam 
shells of unnumbered banquets. 

Thus Nicholas De Lin, the Swede, Jacob Bernhardt, the 
German, and Peter .Judson, the Prussian, found the place when 
they came, as the brave scouts of succeeding generations. 

De Lin was born in Sweden in 1817. He lived five years in 
what is now Petrograd, Russia, and in 1846 he came to New 
York City. He joined a company of about one hundred and fifty 
young men who chartered and fitted the ship Edward Everett, at 
Charleston, Mass., for a voyage around the Horn to the gold 

Vol. I— 1 


fields of California. It was a wearying journey of six months. 
Reaching San Francisco, De Lin became interested in the Oregon 
country and in 1850 he reached Portland. Two years later 
he came to Tumwater, where he formed a ^partnership with 
Col. jNIichael T. Sinmions and Smith Hays. April 1, 1852, 
De Lin and his helpers reached Commencement Bay to build a 

De Lin was an intelligent man of great industry, and a fine 
workman. Imjiounding two creeks with a ten-foot dam at the 
mouth of what we now call Galliher Gulch, he harnessed the flow 
with a wooden tui'bine of his own design and made it drive his 
little sawmill which, under favorable conditions, cut 2,000 feet of 
lumber a day. The mill stood at about what is now the inter- 
section of Dock Street and Puyallup Avenue. The timbers were 
dragged to the mill by the ox team of Samuel McCaw of Steila- 
coom, who received $150 for less than three days' work. 

About the little mill there used to gather companies of 
Indians, to whom the whirling turbine and its mystic transmission 
of power to the saw never ceased to be a wonder. Indeed, they 
sometimes crowded so numerous^ about the machinery that they 
had to be pushed out of the place. Then they would sit for hours, 
scarcely uttering a sound and almost motionless, apparently 
hypnotized by the white man's curious machine. 

With one yoke of oxen Stephen Judson "snaked" out more 
logs than the little mill with its upright saw could cut. The faller 
was Peter Anderson. Both he and Judson often had to wait for 
the mill to catch up with them, and the mill often waited upon the 
tide when it ran high, as it choked the flow of water from the 
stream. Tliere is a story that the mill had the habit of sawing 
boards of uneven thickness and that it was strangely erratic, but 
this Stephen Judson, who worked around it for some time, denies. 
JNIr. Judson, mind yet keen as a j^outh's, still lives at this writing, 
at the age of seventy-eight, in Steilacoom. 

"I think the men who bought it from De Lin had some trouble 
with the mill," said Mr. Judson, "but they were not sawmill men. 
De Lin produced good lumber there." 

De Lin came in 1852. His house stood a few yards back of 
the mill, facing the sound. In dimensions it was about 24 x 30 


feet, and a story and a half in height. It was built of sawed 
lumber, the boards being ^^ut on upright. Inside, De Lin finished 
it with cedar boards 12 inches wide and planed by hand, and the 
boards slightly overlapped, in the manner of weatherboarding. 
Cabinetmaker as well as millwright, De Lin and his brother 
Andrus P., who came a little later, and who also was a master in 
carpentry, proceeded to furnish the house with hand-made beds, 
tables and chairs which Mr. Judson describes as having been 
"fine enough for the Tacoma Hotel." 

William and Eliza Sales, English-born, who had been living 
on the Indian reservation, came to the new mill settlement, 
JNIrs. Sales to cook for the De Lins and his three or four men, and 
Sales to join the mill forces. And here, October 20, 1853, in one 
of the several small houses De Lin had built, was born James 
Sales, the first white child to be ushered into the world on the site 
of Tacoma. He still lives, a highly respected citizen, a short 
distance north of Parkland, at Sales Street. 

De Lin cleared a couple of acres and had flowers and vegeta- 
bles, chicken houses and other buildings necessary in the conduct 
of a mill establishment which dej^ended to a considerable extent 
upon itself for feeding man and beast. At that time probably 
there were not more than twenty-five white families in the county, 
Stephen Judson estimates. 

In the Washington Pioneer, published in Olympia, there 
appeared an advertisement — the first ever printed to bring atten- 
tion to what was to be Tacoma. That advertisement read : 


The undersigned will let a contract for furnishing his mill 
with saw logs on the f ollomng terms : he will allow $6 j)er log, to 
be paid in lumber at $20 per thousand. Application to be made 
immediately at his mill on the Puyallup Bay. 

N. De Lin. 

January 20, 18.53. 

The advertisement, though dated 1853, appeared in the 
Pioneer of January 21, 1854. No doubt, either De Lin was 
unmindful of passing time, or the printer erred. Surely the 
correct date of the advertisement was Januarv 20, 1854. 


Assisting in the construction of De Lin's mill were James 
Taylor, Stephen Hodgden, Cortland Ethridge, and Samuel 
McCaw, and they lived for a time in an Indian "medicine house" 
which stood on a sandspit across the channel from the mill. The 
first cargo shipped by the mill was sent to San Francisco in 1853, 
in the brig George Emorj'', Captain Trask, who waited several 
months for the little mill to cut the 350,000 feet his vessel 
demanded. The lumber was rafted to the Emory, which, though 
not far off shore, found five fathoms of water. Only a few years 
later the rapid deposit of silt had so far filled the channel that it 
almost could be waded at low tide. 

Xext after De Lin to build a house was Jacob Bernhardt, one 
of De Lin's workmen, who raised a log cabin about where the 
Northern Pacific Railroad headquarters building stands. But 
after havinff built his cabin he abandoned it, for he found the hill 
from the beach too steep to climb even once a day. He set up a 
smaller cabin nearer the beach and to the southward. He came 
in '53, soon wearied, and retui'ned to Ohio in '54. The Judsons 
paid him $50 for his claim, which added considerably to their 
water frontage. Bernhardt's cabin on the hill stood for some 
time after Xew Tacoma was started. 

Then came Peter Judson, Prussian-born, with his wife, two 
sons, Stephen and Paul, his wife's niece, Gertrude Meller, a girl 
about fifteen, and John Neison, their wagon being one of the 
train which first dared the treacherous dechvities of Naches Pass, 
with its sixty-eight river crossings; and those fearless pioneers 
knew then that the Indians well had named the pass with 
"Xah-chess," or "plenty of water," and they regret now that an 
attempt is made to call it "McClellan Pass." For Captain 
McClellan never crossed it, and, in fact, reported it to be 

Gertrude Meller and John Neison walked all the way across 
the plains. Neison carried a staff about eight feet long. He was 
a blacksmith. The Judsons usually camped apart from the 
remainder of the travelers, as Peter's lack of skill in the use of 
English seemed to embarrass him. Neison took up a claim on 
Hunt's Prairie, where South Tacoma now lies. 

Gertrude Meller was the only survivor of a family of four. 



— r. 

'£ — ' 

o" 33 
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.1 F 


They were the victims of the dreadful cholera scourge which 
swept the country in the early '50s, and left a trail of immigrant 
graves half way across the continent. Stephen Judson was the 
only member of his family who did not fall ill with the malady. 
He, a mere child, nursed his father, mother and brother back to 
healtli, alone. 

Peter Judson, with his family, came from Prussia in about 
1845. They boarded a sailing vessel at Antwerp and after a long 
and tempestuous voyage reached New York, there to learn that 
there was no railroad to their destination — Galena, 111. They 
embarked on another vessel for New Orleans. There they took a 
steamer for St. Louis where, overtaken by severe cold, they 
wintered. In 1853 Peter, attracted by the California gold mines, 
started west. Near Salt Lake City he overtook the Longmire- 
Biles party bound for Oregon, which then included Washington. 
Judson then heard for the first time of the favorable land laws 
of the Pacific Northwest, and decided to join the caravan, and 
they were a part of that brave company which conquered Naches 
pass by digging beneath great logs w^hen ways could not be built 
over them for the wagons, by laborious clearing of brush and 
road-making, and finally by letting their vehicles down a great 
declivity wdth ropes made from the hides of their oxen. Amer- 
ican pioneering has recorded no more perilous adventures. 

The Judsons reached Commencement Bay in October, 1853. 
Peter took up a claim of 321 acres. It was one of the most 
valuable in America, but he did not know it. That claim 
embraced what now is practically the entire business section of 
Tacoma, from near Twentieth Street to the City Hall, and 
extending far up the hill. Through the winter the father and 
two sons hastened the clearing of the land and the building of a 
house just about where the Union Passenger Station now stands. 
They were well-to-do — they owned three yoke of oxen and had 
considerable cash. 

In 1854 they harvested a good crop of oats where the Tacoma 
Hotel stands, and garnered a wheat crop from what now are the 
Northern Pacific passenger yards. These grains they threshed 
with flails. Stephen, his brother, and an Indian took thirty-five 
bushels of wheat — their total harvest — to New Market, now 


Tumwater, by boat, there to have it ground in the mill of JNIichael 
T. Simmons, the first mill owner in the state north of the Colum- 
bia River. In all, the Judsons had six or seven acres under 

Simmons j^roperly figures in the history of Tacoma though 
never a resident of it, as he, with Smith Hays, also of Tumwater, 
was interested with De Lin in the sawmill venture on Commence- 
ment Bay. Simmons was the grandfather of ]\Irs. George 
jNIilton Savage. i 

The Judson house stood four or five blocks north of the De Lin 
house. The Judson house was about 24 x 18 feet, with an eight- 
foot lean-to. At first the family used the rudest of furniture, 
but the deft workmanship of the De Lin brothers soon began to 
furnish the cabin with comfortable rocking chairs and handsome 
tables and beds, and early in the acquaintanceship of the two 
families, Nicholas began to pay court to Gertrude ^Nleller, with 
the result that November 25, 1854, they were married. Their 
first children were born in Steilacoom. February 28, 1860, after 
they had returned to Commencement Bay, a girl baby came. 
They have the double distinction of being the first bridal couple 
and the parents of the first feminine child born on the future 
townsite. The baby was named Grace Alice. December 18, 
1879, she became Mrs. John T. Richards. 

All of the early marriages were performed without the 
formality of procuring licenses. All that was necessary was to 
"stand up" before a minister, justice of the peace or judge, and 
respond to whatever form of ceremony these functionaries 
devised, and they were various, and sometimes humorous in their 
simplicity. But the knots were well tied. At that there were 
occasional demands for divorce which were readily granted, not 
by the courts but by the Legislature. This process became a 
travesty. It was necessary only to make a request of a member 
of the Legislature and the decree was forthcoming, the facility 
depending upon the popularity or political influence of the mem- 
ber presenting the case. It is said that one of the territorial 
governors desired his appointment merely for the purpose of 
coming to the territory and procuring an easy divorce. 

But in the main the early settlers seem to have enjoyed a 


The first bride and groom and the first girl cliild born on the site of what later became the 

city of Tacoma 



peculiarly happy domesticity. Perhaps it was due to their excep- 
tionally large families. 

Comino' almost simultaneously with De Lin, Chauncey 
Baird, a cooper, who foresaw a lucrative business in salmon 
packing, established his small cabin and a somewhat pre- 
tentious shop and storage shed close to where the Tacoma 
JNIill Company's log pond now is. With fir for staves and hazel 
for hoops he began to manufacture barrels for John Swan and 
Peter Riley, who were seining between what is now Old Tacoma 
and the Smelter. In '53, '54 and \jo this work went on, Baird 
2)roducing excellent barrels in which Swan and Riley shipped 
their salted salmon to San Francisco. Stephen Judson says 
Baird received $1 a barrel, and he could make three or four barrels 
a day, after he had prepared his material. He rived the fir, 
smoothed it and shaped it ; sawed out the heads, used flags from 
a nearby swamp as a calk when needed, and sometimes had three 
or four hundred barrels piled in his storage shed. Baird left in 
1856, friffhtened out bv the Indians. Swan removed to McNeil's 
Island, took up a claim which afterward was sold to the Govern- 
ment for penitentiary uses. Riley dropped out of sight. 

South of what is now the foot of Fifteenth Street there stood 
a large Indian cabin, with two or three smaller ones about it. The 
large one was the home of a sub-chief, Shil-wliayl-ton, whom the 
whites called "Chief Shillawilton," and his small family. One or 
two other families lived in the same house. Families also occu- 
pied the smaller cabins. "Shillawilton" was an Indian of rather 
more than ordinary intelligence, and he and the other Indians 
lived on terms of friendship with the De Lins and Judsons. 
De Lin often supplied him with ammunition. The chief kept the 
De Lin larder filled with game in return. 

William P. Bonney, who has made a considerable study of 
Indian nomenclature, says the Indians called the general location 
"Gog-le-hi-te," meaning "where land and water meet." 

What we now know as the Head of the Bay was the head- 
quarters of the Puyallup tribe of Indians and they called it 
"Ta-ha-do-wa," which means "Come in" — a word of welcome. 
The hub of their dominion was a large pool or inlet at what is now 
the foot of Fifteenth street. This pool extended almost to Pacific 


Avenue, and covered the area now occupied by the tall Sandberg 
building and others in that vicinity. A small stream fed by 
springs and surface drainage emptied into the i)ool from the 
north, and along tliis stream as far north as Thirteenth Street the 
Indians camped. The Indians knew this pool as "Cha-lash-litch." 
"Chalash" means a large meadow overflowed with water; "litch" 
means "over one's back." In short the term meant "a deep pool." 
It was a favorite place for the canoes, for they were perfectly 
safe. A sand pit of considerable length extended between this 
pool and the waterway, and the entrance to it was from the 
southern end. 

When Father P. F. Hvlebos first saw the bav in 1871, on his 
way from the Cowlitz to preach to the Indians on the Reservation, 
the water was fairly covered with canoes, the occupants spearing 
salmon. Indian houses — of bark, canvas, or boards given up by 
the tide — covered the beaches all along the Tacoma waterfront. 
The Indians called the Citv Waterwav "Towadsham," or 
"fording place." The Puyallup River then emptied into the 
Sound at a point about opposite the present Fifteenth Street. 
The name they gave the w^aterway probably was a modern one. 
White men now living in Tacoma remember when the waterway 
could be forded about opposite Eleventh Street. But we have 
testimony to the fact that a number of years before it had a con- 
siderably greater depth. 

At Old Tacoma was another pool, now a log pond, afl'ording 
safety for canoes, and the Indians knew this as "Shu-bahl-up," 
or as the whites have written it, "Chebaulip" — a sheltered place. 
At what is now the smelter site the Indians often gathered. This 
was "Cho-cho-chluth," the maple wood. It was used to some 
extent as a burvino- around. Flathead skulls were found there 
when the smelter was being built. 

The Puyallup Indians inhabited all the territory north of 
what is now Puyallup Avenue, and their shelters were scattered 
for a distance up the valley, along the river. Their northern line 
was about where Redondo now is. Their houses dotted the beaches 
at Brown and Dash Points. Here they had lived for unnumbered 
centuries, and it is a commentary upon their peaceful natures that 
they did not resent Mith force of arms the invasion of their 
beloved land bv the whites. 

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At the foot of Fifteenth Street, about one hundred and fifty 
years ago, hved Klapasha, a chief whose fame still lives among 
the older Indians, and when the whites came Chief Squatahan 
lived there, though apparently they did not learn to know him. 
Squatahan, a few years later, refused to follow Leschi, Kitsap 
and Kanasket to war. He signed the treaty with Governor 
Stevens at Medicine Creek, though it deprived the Indians, as they 
believed, of their beloved "Towadsham," and sought to remove 
them to a reservation extending, as old Indians have described it, 
from about where the smelter now is to the neighborhood of Old 
Tacoma. The treaty described the reservation as lying on "the 
south side of Commencement Bay." The Indians never occupied 
the designated area. When the Indian war broke out Chief 
Squatahan removed practically all of his people to the Henderson 
Bay country to keep them out of trouble. Another Indian of 
consequence who was a firm friend of the whites and who some- 
times was called chief, was Chee-chap-witch, the grandfather of 
John iETote, who, now blind and quite old, lives near Ardena, the 
last man of the original Puyallup tribe. Chee-chap-witch assisted 
in removing the Indians to Henderson's Bay. Only a handful 
of the Puyallups took uj) arms against the whites. Legend fixes 
the number at thirty. 

In 1840 Father Blanchet, who in after vears became arch- 
bishop of Oregon, had traveled j^retty well over the whole Puget 
Sound country in company with Chief Steilacoom, meeting on 
his iournevs the chiefs of about twentv-five tribes of Indians. 
He sought to learn what point would best suit them as a gathering 
place for mission services. They selected the head of Commence- 
ment Bay, and there, about where the Xorthern Pacific round- 
house stands, the jiriest erected a huge cross. It stood there for 
several years, and about it every summer gathered hundreds of 
Indians who came to hear the "blackgowns" explain the "Catholic 

A large Indian medicine house stood on a sandspit on the 
easterly side of the head of the bay, and here the Indians per- 
formed tlie rites that banished evil spirits and human ills. In the 
medicine house they had a board nearly four feet wide and about 
eighteen feet in length, which had been chiseled out by hand after 


months of patient labor. It lay flat, supported a few inches above 
the ground. Around this the Indians gathered and all day long, 
and some times for days at a time, they pounded the wide plank 
with hard sticks, singing in the melancholy minors of savage 
music to their Tamanamus. 

William Lane, who came in '53, describes gatherings on the 
Nisqually plains of from four thousand to six thousand Indians 
from all over the Sound country and from east of the mountains. 
They congregated for horse races, gambling and Tamanamus. 
Their principal gathering j)lace was about two miles southeast of 
American Lake on what afterward became the John Rigney 

"I have seen an Indian lie unconscious and rigid for eight or 
nine days after having been hypnotized by medicine men," says 
Mr. Lane. "When he 'came to,' he was a medicine man. The 
Indians had great times at these gatherings. Some of their races 
were over a six-mile course, and they drove like mad. Their 
gambling was almost continuous and they wagered everything, 
even to their squaws and the last rags on their backs. The squaws 
gambled with marked beaver's teeth, following the same method 
as the men, who used little disks cut from dogwood. In front of 
each player was a little 'nest' of cedar bark finely cut until it was 
almost like cotton. With the disks in their palms the men would 
sink their hands in the 'cotton,' move them about rapidly and 
mysteriously, meanwhile mumbling to Tamanamus. Then 
removing tlieir liands from tlie bark they would liold them out in 
front, or sometimes behind them, and the opponent had to guess 
where the disks were. Hour after hour this went on. An Indian 
not infrequently would sit on his knees for eight or ten hours, or 
even longer, without once changing his position." 

Among the northwestern Indians there were very few athletic 
games. They never wrestled, as far as whites knew, seldom ran 
footraces, and never boxed. These sports were not even indulged 
in by the boys. But old and young of both sexes enjoyed swim- 
ming, and great crowds of men and women and boys and girls 
frequently were seen in the bay together. They loved boating, 
and they sang as they rowed. The Sound tribes were regarded 
as good singers. Ezra JNIeeker's "Pioneer Reminiscences," in 

Ships lined up at the Hanson, Ackerson & Company mill 




describing a visit of "Mowich Man" to his cabin on ^McNeil's 
Island, in the 'oO's, says: 

"Some of JNIowich Man's people were fine singers, and in 
fact his camp or his canoe, if traveling, was always the center for 
song and merriment, bnt it is a curious fact one seldom can get 
the Indian music by asking for it but rather must wait for a spon- 
taneous outburst. But Indian songs in those days came out from 
nearly everj'^ nook and corner and seemed to pervade the whole 
country so much that we often and often could hear the songs 
and accompanying stroke of the paddle long before our eyes 
would rest on the floating canoes." 

Similar testimony is given by other old settlers. They describe 
it as music of a major key and merrier than Indian music usually 
heard, though at their Tamanamus ceremonies it was mournful 
enough. The Indian boys and girls of the present generation 
take readily to music. The students of Cushman Trades school 
have developed, under Director Kelly, an excellent orchestra and 
male chorus, and some of the boys show talent in the making of 
musical instruments. 

^ Henry Sicade of the Nisquallies, tells a curious incident. One 
evening he and his wife were driving home when they heard, in 
front of them a man singing an old Indian song w^hich they had 
not heard in years. They were very much interested and hastened 
to overtake the singer. They found him to be a yoimg Ja]5anese, 
and not an old Indian. Those who are attempting to trace the 
relationship between the people of the Orient and the aborigine 
of the Northwest may possibly find another key in this song — if 
the song can be found. The Sicades do not know it. They 
remember having heard it among the old Indians many years 

Across the tideflats at the point of land jutting out from the 
hill near the present Interurban bridge over the Puyallup River 
was an Indian cemetery. In those days the Indians did not bury ; 
they placed their dead in the trees, wrapped in cedar bark tightly 
bound witli cedar ropes. The ground about the place was covered 
with human bones. Carrion birds and wolves fed in the forbid- 
ding spot. The whites in the neighborhood objected to this form 
of interment and compelled the Indians to bury in the earth. 


Mrs. C. H. Stoltenberg, now living at Clover Park, well 
remembers this grewsome spot. She was Annie E., daughter of 
A. W. Stewart, wagonmaker and carpenter in government 
employ on the reservation. The members of the family used to 
look out of the cabin door on moonlight nights to see the bodies 
resting in the trees with their loosened cerements flapping in the 
wind. Mrs. Stoltenberg was just a little girl, but she visited the 
cemetery several times, saw many beads and other trinkets scat- 
tered about, and there were many bones as well as occasional 
pieces of flesh. If a body fell from a tree, even a day after it was 
placed there, the Indians did not put it back. Stewart and his 
neighbors persuaded the Indians to quit the practice. 

The Indians called this burying ground "Sblook." The 
slougii that ran in front of it they knew as "Tahowlks," which 
means, literally, "missing the nose." In times of high water the 
water from the Puyallup River backed into the slough, and 
decade after decade it was a romping place for the Indian boys 
and girls. INIany of the Indians now living swam there. 

The main, or Galliher, creek at the head of the bay, one of the 
two that ran the wheel of the old De Lin mill, was known as 
"Wad-hum-shum," derived from the word "swad-hums," mean- 
ing "the people who inhabit the plains." In the early days the 
Indians from east of the mountains used the trail through the 
gulch which the Tacoma Eastern Railroad now uses in their 
passing to and fro. And where the creek entered the bay was a 
great Indian landing place. 

The high point where the Tacoma Hotel now stands was 
known as "Tah-too-sul," which means to beckon, to flag, or make 
signal to. The eminence was an Indian signal station. 

All about the large "Medicine house" which stood on the spit, 
were the drying and smoking racks where the Indians prepared 
their fish. 

Prized among the Indians was a great rock, some seven or 
eight feet in height, which lay on the beach now covered by the 
Half Moon yards, and which carelessly was covered when the 
railroad company made the fill there. Its surface bore the figure 
of a man, not clear in places, to be sure, but distinct enough for 
the Indians to declare that it was the work of "The Changer" — 


the mythical ahnighty who sometime in the far past, had worked 
among inanimate, as well as animate, things, w onderful miracles. 
Men had been turned into birds and trees and stones. A human 
being had been converted into Mount Tacoma. The stone on the 
beach once had been a man. The Indians venerated it. This 
stone has been described as a hieroglyph, but Jerry Meeker, who 
saw it many times, says this is not the case. It is believed that 
in no instance did the Indians west of the Cascades attempt 
rock carving or rock painting. 

Another interesting "hieroglyph" rock was found a number of 
years ago at Agate Point on the northeast corner of Bainbridge 
Island. It is three or four feet across, and Indians are much 
afraid of it. Dr. Charles Buchanan, of the Tulalip Indian 
School, while traveling with Indians in that neighborhood found 
that they would not approach this rock. 

The spring just west of the Commercial Dock bridge was 
most highl}^ prized by the Indians. They called it "Ta-sat-co," 
or "the best flavored water." To the spring and rock the Indians 
came from north and south, and even from the Wenatchee and 
Yakima countries. The little cascade over the bluff caused by 
the spring the Indians called "Cark-to," meaning misty. 

The spot where the Flyer Dock afterward was built the 
Indians called "Sog-go-ton," and the gulch occupied by the 
Stadium was "Hod-hod-gus." Literally this word means "a 
great log with several separate fires burning beneath it," or in 
short "a camping place." Where the Cushman Trades School 
stands w^as known to the Indians as "Koo-Youb" — and many of 
them insist today that the name should be applied to the Indian 
school. The Puyallup Valley all the way to the mountains was 
known as "Wheek," meaning "barely seeing it," or "a distant 

A curious fact w^as that on Brown's Point lived a lazy band 
of Puyallups, while near "Sblook," the Indian graveyard, lived 
a band noted for industry. They ate their first meal at sunrise. 
Brown's Point carried the name "Ka-tass," because the residents 
there did not take their first meal until about 9 A. M. 

The Point Defiance peninsula was "Sgutus,"" or "face stick- 
ing out prominently"; the steep cliff at the extreme end of the 


Point was "Chet-toos," which means "gnawing the face." The 
face of the cliff is still being gnawed away by tide and frost and 
rain. The Indians called McNeil's Island "To-whee-wlm-da- 
ub," the meaning of which is "morning star," and "bull-head." 
The application of the names is not well defined. Day Island 
was "Szay-witch," which means "to give a valuable gift to free 
myself," and the application of this is also indefinite. The 
Tacoma Peninsula was "Squa-szucks," which means a prominent 
point, and the word also means, it appears, an Indian mile. The 
Indians measured distances from one prominent point to another, 
and "Squa-szucks" was a promontory known to them all. Quar- 
termaster Harbor was "Sdou-gwa-luth," which means "the trap 
is full." This is believed to come from the fact that in the early 
days, when the connection between INIaury and Vashon Islands 
was clear, and was not covered with brush as at present, the 
Indians erected tall nets there in which to catch ducks as they 
flew across. The Indians knew Hylebos Creek as "Hacht," 
which means "covered with brush." 

The site of South Tacoma and the vicinity were known as 
"Cahk-humd." The Indians used to build corrals or traps of logs 
and brush about bogs where elk and deer were wont to drink and 
to find tender shoots. The Indians surrounded the bogs, and with 
the assistance of the traps cornered and killed the animals. Such 
a tra23, or "cahk-humd," once stood in the bog to the south and 
east of Rigney Hill. 

While modern orthography spells it "Nisqually," undoubt- 
edly it is better spelled "Nesqually," in conformity with its true 
derivation. The Indians call it "Squal-lay," accent on the last 
syllable, and with emphasis on the introductory sibilant. It might 
better be spelled "S-s-squal-lay." Several of the Indian tribes 
have lost their original names and have adopted the names applied 
to them by the early French explorers out of Canada. When the 
French found the Indians of the plains below us they were some- 
wliat surprised not to see the aquiline features wliich they liad 
seen among the Indians farther east. They found instead a 
rather round face and a square nose. Therefore they called the 
Indians "Nez-quarre," or square nose. The Indian, however, 
could not sound the "r," and substituted an "1," making it 


"Nez-quallie." It is of importance, in contemplating the theory 
that our Indians are of Oriental origin, that the Chinese, too, 
have difficulty with the "r." 

The Puyallup Indians were regarded by neighboring tribes, 
and are yet, as generous and hospitable, and indeed that is why 
they bear the name "Puyallup," which old Indians translate as 
meaning, broadly, "add more." In the days gone by when great 
bands of Indians came from the Xorth, South and East, travel- 
ing in quest of game, fish, and the various vegetable foods, they 
usually stopped with the Puyallups for a replenishment of their 
larders, asking merely for enough to carry them to their destina- 
tions. The Puyallups, in their neighborliness, not only gave what 
was asked, but they added more. 

In this connection it is of interest to read an account of a 
potlatch held in November, 1858, as printed by the Puget Sound 
Herald, Steilacoom: 

"The Indians belonging to the reservations at Nisqually, 
Puyallup and Squaxum received their annuities at Puyallup on 
the twenty-third instant. Colonel Simmons and his staff of sub- 
agents and his clerk, Mr. Armstrong, delivered the goods, 
amounting in value to $3,600. A large body of Indians was 
present, and from appearances they considered the whole affair 
in the light of a grand feast, got up to promote good feeling and 
fellowship between the 'Reds' and the 'Whites.' And good feel- 
ing there certainly was. 

"The first evening a ball was gotten up in a large room and the 
dusky beauties and several half-breeds danced to the music of a 
fiddle which was presided over by Mr. Perkins of the Puyallup 
agency. Colonel Simmons, who is joerhaps more beloved by the 
Indians than any agent in the service, joined in the dance, and it 
was an exceedingly amusing spectacle to see 'Old Mike' and 'Old 
Steilacoom,' an Indian lady of some fifty years and two hundred 
and fifty pounds, tripping it on 'the light fantastic toe' together. 
"The next day the Indians brought their checks into the 
agency and received their goods. Lieutenant ShaafF, in com- 
mand of the detachment of soldiers, witnessed the delivery of the 
annuities and altogether the payment was most excellently and 
most satisfactorily managed. 


"The amount paid out in goods does not amount to more than 
two dollars a head (though the intention of the Government was 
that they should receive five dollars) and was rather slim, some 
families receiving only a little green baize and calico, but it was 
explained to the Indians that their number had been under- 
calculated in making the census and that there was hope that the 
Government would increase the amount of the annuities this 
year, now that their number was really known. 

"Colonel Simmons made two speeches to the Indians, and the 
marked attention with which he was listened to showed the esteem 
in which he is held by all the chiefs of his district. Altogether 
the affair was agreeable to all parties, the Indians were happy 
and the whites were satisfied, and we came away from the agency 
impressed with the wisdom of the course pursued toward the 
Siwashes, and the popularity of the officials who have them in 

But at that it may be remarked, it was only another case of 
the Indian "getting the short end." , i 

There were at times many Indians on the plains. Just north 
of what is now Parkland they gathered the roots of the lackamas 
and wild sunflower. Digging a hole perhaps six feet in diameter 
and three or four feet deep the savages lined it with stones. In 
this excavation they kept a hot fire burning for a day or so, then, 
removing the ashes, they lined it with ferns. After filling it with 
the roots they covered the whole with ferns and a layer of earth. 
Thus it was left for several days. Here was the original fireless 

The product, "kalse," was a sweet, juicy and nutritious food 
which the squaws packed in their baskets and carried away to 
winter quarters on bay or river where in shacks of cedar bark 
lined with mats they lived in savage comfort, with clams, salmon 
and berries adding to the variety of their regimen. 

They made an exhilarating liquor from the sunflower roots. 
They gathered kinnikinnick leaves, dried and pulverized them 
and mixed them with tobacco — when they had the tobacco 
— and in the smoking of the combination enjoyed sensations 
similar to those produced by opium. Smokers occasionally keeled 

Picture taken in August, 1873, just after the townsite had been burned off 

Picture made in 1873 from a point just a little north of where the city hall stands 



over ill a mild delirium, and saw strange visions. The Indians 
dried the gwediic for w inter use, and taught the art to the white 
settlers. They mixed dried berries and dried salmon eggs as a 
winter dish, used the roots of one of the dandelions as food and 
the milk from the stem as a cure for warts. They gathered 
"s(}uelips." a plant like the wild ])arsnip, and the wapato. 

The Indians used the leaves of the maple and the alder as 
condiments. They waded into the marshes and loosened the 
wapatos with their toes. The tubers floated to the surface and 
were captured. The wapato is merely the Indian's pronunciation 
of potato, and the Indian name for this tuber was "spay-koolts." 

They roasted the root of the bracken, beat it thoroughly, then 
ground the starchj^ material into a coarse meal, which then was 
mixed with salmon eggs, laid aside and left to ripen, the culmina- 
tion not being delightful to the white man's nostrils. 

In the neighborhood of "Sblook," the Indian cemetery, sev- 
eral persons settled at about the time the De Lins and Judsons 
came. Among them were Peter Runquist, Carl Gorisch, and 
Jacob Kershner, all IMexican war veterans, Adam Benston, who 
had been a Hudson's Bay Company man and William wSales. 
Runquist afterw^ard married one of Kershner's daughters. 

In later years Kershner, who had an Indian wife, sold his 
claim to the Government, to be included in the Indian reserva- 
tion, receiving about two dollars an acre for his eighty, but the 
land soon came back into the family through ]Mrs. Kershner, 
who procured it under her rights as an Indian. Very low prices 
w^ere paid for all of the land taken from the white settlers by the 
Government for reservation purposes. Most of it w^as bought in 
18.59, and not more than three dollars an acre w as paid in any case. 

Runquist was a blacksmith and he made the hoes, rakes and 
plows for the farmers. He hammered out the plow with which 
the Judsons prepared their wheat and oats patches. Stephen 
Judson paid for it by ploughing for Runquist, who had no oxen. 
Runquist removed to Steilacoom and became blacksmith to the 
garrison. His shop used to be pointed out as a place where 
Ca]:)tain, afterward General, Grant dropped in now and then to 
talk to Runquist of their INIexican war days. This is a pleasing 

Vol. 1—2 


fable. Grant never was in Steilacoom while Runquist was there. 
In 1849, it is beheved General Grant did visit Fort Steilacoom 
for a few days. It is possible that Sheridan, Hunt, McClellan, 
Pickett and others who became famous in the Civil war did chat 
with the blacksmith while they had their horses shod. 

■•■y^;^'^^ -^i if 














I— I 









sLQrALrrcnEw — slttlkhs kill cattlk— why roirr stkila- 



What was to iKconie the Tacoina townsitc was irichidcd in the 
vast claim of the Pii^et's Soiirifl vX^i-icnllnial ConijKiny, a siih- 
siHiary of th(; Hudson's Hay Conij)any, and this ^reat eoneccn, 
wliiel) }ia(J ])ioneere(I tlie Canadian donn'nion, estahhslied its jjost 
on Se(|ualitehew (Indian meaning "shallow") Creek ahont a mile 
from its mouth, May .'iO, IH.'i.'J. The company had a sheej) camp 
where Sf)iith Tacoma now lies. Its preserves included the 
territory hetween the Puyallup and Xiscjually llivers, and even 
below the Xiscjually, and extended iVom mountains to Sound, 
thus embracing Steilacoom. 

At I^'ort Xis(jually a rorrnidahle stockade, with a three-story 
blockhouse, })roteeted its large warehouses, the factor's residence 
and other buildings from possible attacks by the Indians. liut in 
the main the company maintained the l)est of relations with the 
Indians. It traded with them, employed them, and cncfMiraged 
and even com[)elled its white employes to marry s(juaws by way 
of cementing the inter-racial bond. 

Thousands of cattle and sheep roamed the "Xiscjually 
plains" — a fitting name which should be j)reservx'd. We call 
them "prairies," which they are not. The Indians called them 
"Rau-kum" — an open place. In those early days the ])lains were 



covered with luxuriant grasses and many wild flowers. The open 
places were very much broader than now. The encroachment of 
fir trees is modern. James Sales, who at the age of seventeen 
months was adopted by the Edmund Crofts family and who 
has known the plains for sixty years, says that when he was a 
boy there were almost no fir trees. Only occasional patches of 
oaks broke the open vistas. Deer and elk grazed among the 
cattle. Wild ducks and geese swarmed about every lake and 
pool. In an hour a fair shot could bring down as many blue 
grouse as he could carry. 

The Hudson's Bay Company conserved its paradise. It 
moved its cattle and sheep at intervals to encourage new grass 
growth. In after years the settlers took no such precautions and 
it is the tlieory that the very close cropping by sheep destroyed the 
grass roots. A less valuable and thinner forage usurped the soil. 
Then came the army of fir trees. 

At one time the coyotes were numerous and many wild Indian 
dogs foraged with them, and the old settlers tell of many bands 
of wolves. Coyotes used to drive horses and cattle into the 
swamps and destroy them. For a number of years the coyotes 
practically disappeared, but later they returned in considerable 
numbers. Indians held the coyotes in high esteem. They 
believed a devil or deity resided in the animal. Bear and cougar 
often were seen on the plains in the 'oO's and '60's. 

The Hudson's Bay Company was no less kind to early white 
settlers than to the Indians, though it often warned the whites 
against squatting on its wide domain. Its factors were able, 
cleanly and generous men. Two of them, Dr. William F. Tolmie 
and Edward Huggins, are now remembered with esteem and 

Edward Huggins was born at the foot of London bridge 
June 10, 1832, and at the age of fifteen he found employment 
with a broker near the London office of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. He made the acquaintance of one of the directors of this 
company who procured for him the opportunity to come to the 
Pacific Northwest. October 10, 1849, he sailed on the company's 
ship Norman Morrison for Fort Victoria which was reached in 
March, 1850, and the vouth at once was sent by Gov. James 

The first white child born on the Ta- 
coma peninsula. Date of birth, October 
20, 1853. 




P ! : 



Douglas to Nisqiially where the good Doctor Tohiiie gave him 
eiiiployiiieiit in the store, dealing with the Indian traders. When 
the company's cattlemen were frightened from their post at Muck 
at the beginning of the Indian war Huggins took charge there, 
remaining for some years with his band of helpers, composed of 
English, Irish, Scotch, Kanakas, French Canadians, Indians, 
half breeds and one negro. October 21, 1857, Mr. Huggins 
married JNIiss Letitia Warks, usually misspelled "Works," 
daughter of John Warks, a prominent man in Hudson's Bay 
Company affairs. When Doctor Tolmie retired in 1859, after 
twenty-six years of fine service, JNIr. Huggins succeeded him and 
remained in charge of the company's affairs until, in 1870, it 
closed its business at Nisqually and surrendered to the United 
States the rights it long had claimed, taking $650,000 for its 
property, though it first had asked a million. The price paid was 
abundant. Mr. Huggins had become a citizen of the United 
States some years before, and when the company ordered him 
to a i^ost in British Columbia he severed his relations with it. He 
preempted a claim on the land that had belonged to the company 
and that embraced the best of the buildings left bv it. He 
added to his holdings until he owned 1,000 acres of land. Mr. and 
jNIrs. Huggins had seven sons: William, Edward, deceased, 
Thomas, David, Henry, Joseph and John. Thomas and David 
live in Tacoma. Thomas is in the manual-training department 
of the public schools, and takes a deep interest in Washington 
history. Edward Huggins, Sr., died January 24, 1907, at the 
age of seventy-five, and Mrs. Huggins passed away September 
12, 1910, at the age of seventy-nine. Both died in Tacoma, where 
they spent their declining years. 

Thomas Huggins still owns the old journals of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, though the journals are missing between INIay 
31, 1839, and January 26, 1846, and between April 30, 1847, 
and March 10, 1849. They are rich with history and have been 
examined again and again by writers and students of history. 
They cover the period from 1833 to the very afternoon of 
Edward Huggins' death — a period of seventy-four years. The 
old gentleman continued faithfully to keep the records after he 
left Fort Nisqually and the last entry was made only a few hours 


before he expired. The old safe of the company is now in the 
Historical Society Museum — a relic of value. Great effort has 
been made to find the missing journals. 

The Huggins j)lace is now included in the 2,700-acre domain 
of the DuPont Powder Company, which, cognizant of the his- 
toric imjDortance of the old home, is preserving it. The old Hud- 
son's Bay Company post furnished much of the powder and ball 
with which warring Indians were repelled ; its successor, the giant 
DuPont Company is furnishing a large part of the world with 

Among the vessels that came and went, carrying supplies to 
Victoria and elsewhere, was the Beaver, pioneer steamer of the 
western world. Slie was 1011/4 feet in length and was built at 
Blackwell, England, in 1835. She had the famous Bolton ^ 
Watt engines. Her boiler and engines weighed sixty-three tons 
and cost $22,000. Her wheels were placed well forward and 
were quite small, and they looked, according to a contemporary 
writer not unlike the "forepaws of a land terrapin." Her 
breadth inside her paddle boxes was 20 feet; outside 33 feet. 
Her poop was high and square, and slanted in toward the rudder. 
Her depth was IIV2 ^^^t and she registered 109 tons. She 
carried twenty-six men, five six-j^ounders and a large number 
of small arms. Her decks were protected from invasion by the 
Indians when she was in the Northwest by a border netting of 
rope. When she was launched King William IV and members 
of the royal family saw her slide into the water. She sailed 
August 29, 1835, and December 17 reached Juan Fernandez — 
"Robinson Crusoe's Island." She was the first steamer to cross 
the Atlantic to America, the first around the horn and the first 
to sail the Pacific. She reached the mouth of the Columbia River 
April 4, 1836, and in 1837 she came to Puget Sound. Fort Nis- 
qually was her home port. She was wrecked in Burrard Inlet, 
B. C, July 26, 1888, and her boiler was raised by C. C. Pilkey in 
September, 1896. When the indefatigable Professor Gilstrap 
procured the boilers a few years ago and established them in A 
Street there were many who ridiculed. Yet Gilstrap had made 
a valuable find, and few relics which the State Historical Society 


has acquired have attracted more study. Mechanics have come 
from far and wide to examine this old machine, which is now 
established on the grounds of the Historical Society Building. 

From the Hudson's Bay Company's stores the early settlers 
bought their supplies, which were first-class and sold at reasonable 
prices. The company now and then gave offense by inquiring 
closely as to the buyer's actual needs and would sell him no more 
than he had to have, no matter if he had abundant "chickamin" 
with which to pay. It would sell nothing if there was indication 
that it was to be resold; it was not inviting mercantile competi- 

The ambition of every housewife in that dav was to add a 
stove to her kitchen furniture, and stoves were sold by the com- 
pany even under a closer guardianship than most other articles. 
The buyer particularly had to promise that the stove was for his 
own use. These stoves brought as high as ninety dollars; today 
one of them probably could be sold for seven or eight dollars as a 
utility — but very much higher than that as a curiosity. Ninety 
dollars even now is a large price for a stove. But the early 
settlers had considerable cash. Wages were high and work was 
plentiful. The soldieiy at Fort Steilacoom scattered their money 
freely. The Hudson's Bay Company's post was a market for 
much of the farm produce. 

Doctor Tolmie was physician, scientist and Christian teacher. 
He botanized on JNIount Tacoma and discovered its glaciers in 
1833. He went up the Puyallup river and he spelled it "Poyal- 
lijja" in trying to follow Indian pronunciation. 

At the mouth of the Sequalitchew was a massive cattle corral 
built of logs. The walls were almost ten feet in height. The 
structure was about sixty feet square. On the land side extended, 
funnel-shape, two great wings of logs and lighter material. Into 
this funnel the herders drove their cattle, crowding them finally 
into the corral. From platforms on the log walls men roped the 
long-horned animals and they were dragged through the beach 
gate and to the waiting ships, to be hoisted to the decks by their 
liorns. The follow^ing letter throws additional light on this 
traffic : 


^ "Vancouver, 9 Oct., 1845. 
"Doctor Tolmie, 

"Dear Sir: — The Cadboro is to proceed in tow of the steamer 
to Nisqually, and both are to be employed, till further orders, in 
taking cattle and sheep to Fort Victoria. It would be desirable 
to send forty head of oxen, which will be fit to kill next year, and 
a thousand of the finest wool sheep with their rams, and two hun- 
dred wethers, which I mention that you may know our views. It 
will be necessary tliat one of your most exj^erienced shepherds go 
with the sheep. * * * ^s the steamer is limited in her time 
it will be necessary every precaution be taken that she be detained 
as little time as possible at Nisqually, as, if we can get more than 
that quantity to Victoria, so much the better. 

"I am, yours truly, 

"John McLaughlin." 

IMany of the cattle, after roaming for months over the 161,000 
acres controlled by the company, became wild and dangerous. 
Travelers sometimes were attacked by them. This gave excuse 
to the settlers for killing them, and often they did not wait for the 
temper of the animal to be disclosed before shooting. Hunger, 
and not fear, directed many a clandestine bullet. It was an easy 
method of i^rovisioning, and it gave the company much trouble. 
Now and then these troubles reached the courts in Victoria. On 
one such occasion one of the witnesses was John INIontgomery, a 
Scot. He was asked how many cattle the Hudson's Bay Com- 
panj^ had liere. There was snickering among John's acquaintances 
as he was reputed "not to be able to count twenty." I5ut John 
proposed to betray no ignorance and he boldly replied: 

"It has four thousand, eleven hundred and a bull up at 

Tliis arithmetical bull pursued John the remainder of his life 
and he lived long. The joke became a household pet all along 
the coast, and some of the older settlers still te.ll it with gusto. 

Clarence B. Bagley, whose researches into the Hudson's Bay 
Company records have revealed a vast amount of fine material, 
says the company had at times from 5,000 to 8,000 head of cattle, 

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and from 6,000 to 10,000 sheep, also 300 head of horses, and 
required from fifty to seventy-five men to take care of them. 

JNIuck was an important station in the company's business. 
Edward Huggins was in charge there through a part of the 
Indian war. There too, in after years, hved Cliarles Wren, a 
notorious half-breed, rich through trickery and theft. He was 
much feared by his neighbors, though withal a hosj^itable fellow. 
But while the welcomed guest was toasting his feet at Wren's 
fire, the host might even then have his visitors' calves hid in the 
woods. The fecundity of Wren's cows seemed to present a super- 
natural wonder until the incensed settlers, investigating his place, 
found their own calves there. It has been said that Wren paid 
Frank Clark, a shrewd criminal la^\yer of Steilacoom, and later 
of Tacoma, $1,200 a year to keep him out of jail. Clark earned 
the fee, whatever it was. 

Steilacoom was market, postoffice, news center and metropolis 
for a wide section of the Puget Sound country. The early settlers 
on the Tacoma townsite and on the reservation sometimes rowed 
to Steilacoom. Ox teams transported their heavier supplies. 

An Indian attack on Fort Xisqually in which Leander C. 
Wallace was killed, led to the establishment of Fort Steilacoom. 
In Avigust, 1849, Capt Bennett Hill arrived from Fort Van- 
couver with United States soldiers, arrangements having been 
made for the rental of twenty acres from the Hudson's Bay 
Compan}^ for fifty dollars a month. This payment continued for 
ten years. It was a paradoxical situation in some aspects. The 
United States seemed to recognize the rights of the Hudson's 
Bay Company and paid to it a rental for the establishment of a 
fort, a silent aim of which was to establish the authority of the 
United States over the territory claimed by the Hudson's Bay 
Company and the British Government. 

To try the Indians accused of the Wallace killing the first 
term of court in Pierce County was convened at Fort Steilacoom 
the last Monday in October, 1849. Chief Patkanim of the 
Snoqualmies had been induced by J. A. Thornton, Indian 
sub-agent for Oregon, wlio offered him eighty blankets as a 
reward, to surrender Kussas, Quhlawot, Stullhahya, Juttain, 
Wyah and Qualthlinkyne into the hands of United States 


]\Iarshal Joe Meek. Oregon Chief Justice Bryan presided at the 
trial. Kussas and Quhlawat were convicted and executed. The 
others were acquitted. It was established that Qualthlinkyne 
was a slave Indian; that he was not at Fort Nisqually when the 
killing took place; that he had been surrendered by the wily 
Patkanini with the expectation that the other prisoners could 
attach to him the responsibility for the crime and thus free them- 
selves. But the white man's cross-examination broke down the 
consj)iracy and set the slave free. Practically the whole Snoqual- 
mie tribe attended the hanging of the two men. 

The troops at first occupied a number of old log houses built 
there by the Hudson's Bay Company. They at once threw up 
entrenchments to protect the spring and pool from which the 
hospital now takes water. The earthworks were well constructed. 
Everything was made shipshape against surprise. In 1857 
Lieut. A. V. Kautz was given authority to erect more sub- 
stantial and commodious buildings. The concrete water tank 
now standing in front of the hospital was built. Before that time 
water was brought from the great spring in the gulch by a man 
with a mule and cart. It was that wonderful spring that caused 
the fort to be established there. Lieutenant Kautz placed below 
it a ram which for fifty years dutifully chugged away, its chug- 
ging filling the deep, fern-lined gulch with strange echoes. 
Though Lieutenant Kautz sjDcnt about $200,000, he completed 
his task at a cost less than the estimates, and the excellence of his 
work rewarded him with the thanks of the War Department. 

The sills for the buildings were hewn bv hand. JNIanv of them 
were too long to be cut by Byrd's sawmill at Custer. They were 
a foot square. The studding was fastened to them by the now 
obsolete mortice-and-tenon method. For the chimneys Stephen 
Judson made the brick, hauling clay from the hillsides a con- 
siderable distance away. His brother, John Paul, served as 
teamster and hauled lumber to the fort, and for some time after 
that he carried the United States express to and from the fort. 
Several of the buildings have been torn away but enough remain 
to give to the hospital grounds a remarkable historical value. 
Especial pains should ])e taken to preserve these interesting 
structures. The "Headquarters Building" at the fort was con- 

Superintendent 's quarters 

Men's convalescent ward 

The working ward. Fort Steilacoom Band, 

composed of employes, in front 

Men 's receiving ward 

Women's ward 

Accountant and superintendent's houses, 

and office building 



structed with brick between the studding as a protection against 
the bullets of Indians. 

A description of the fort is given in a letter now in possession 
of J. T. Steeb, written April 22, 18.56 by George Tennant Steeb, 
then chief engineer of the United States steamer John Han- 

"The other day," the letter says, "we went up to Fort Steila- 
coom after a couple of companies of soldiers. We arrived at the 
town about sunset and as soon as I was off watch, 8 P. M., I went 
ashore and in company with the captain's clerk, walked up to the 
fort about a mile and a half. * * * ^\^e found Doctor Tur- 
ner, a young man who is from Philadelphia and fifteen or twenty 
fine fellows, lieutenants, surgeons and captains in the army. The 
fort is built of logs. In fact it is no fort at all but a collection of 
buildings built in the shape of a square, the men's barracks on 
one side, the officers' on the other, storehouses on another and a 
row of army wagons on the last side. The houses are only one 
story and doors connect them all. * * * A short distance 
from the fort is a burial place of those who died here. One grave 
is quite recent, that of Lieutenant Slaughter, killed while on a 
scout against the Indians." 

Another interesting document concerning Steilacoom is the 
diary of Lieut. William P. Trowbridge, U. S. A., who came to 
the northwest via Panama in 1853. He wrote and sketched, and 
his old books are now owned by his son, Wm. P., of the Tacoma 
Land Company. Among other notations in the diary is one to 
the effect that INIajor Larned was going to look up a site for a 
new army post as Fort Steilacoom was not considered a healthful 







Steilacooni, the town, is an accident, to some extent at least. 
A sea-faring triumvirate, Frederick Rabjohn, William Elders 
and William Bolton, members of the crew of the British ship 
Albion, had settled there after their ship had been seized, for 
violating the revenue laws, at New Dungeness where she had put 
in to load piles. But Steilacoom probably would have been slow 
enough, even with the advantages of a nearby military canton- 
ment, without Lafayette Balch, a man of force and business acu- 
men. Balch owned the brig George Emory and in 1850 he brought 
from Portland, IMe., a cargo of merchandise to Olympia, known 
then as Smith field, or Smithter. Pie also brought a house all ready 
to be put together. After her cargo had been discharged Balch met 
opposition from Edmund Sylvester, owner of the townsite, who 
was fearful that the Balfch competition might injure the store of 
Michael T. Simmons, and he therefore demanded so much for a 
lot that Balch angrily reloaded the cargo, accused Sylvester of 
attempted extortion and set sail in search of a kindlier welcome.' 
He found it at Steilacoom where he again discharged his cargo 
and immediately set about the business of putting Steilacoom on 
the commercial map, an enterprise altogether congenial, because, 
the larger Steilacoom's trade became, the more it was likely to 
injure Olympia. Balch erected a large store building and placed 
Henry C. Wilson in charge. Wilson remained scarcely a month. 
He, too, had townsite ambitions. In August he sailed northward 
and took up a claim where Port Townsend stands, and he was the 
only one of the original settlers there who won title to his claim. 

Steilacoom was named after Steilacoom Creek by Lafayette 
Balch, who is said to have spelled it "Chielcoom." George Gibbs 
is said to have prevailed upon Balch to change it to "Steilacoom." 

36 ■ 


Balc'h got the name either from the Indians themselves or from 
the diary of John Wark, the Hndson's Bay Company explorer, 
who, in 1824-, had visited the place and he called it "Chilacoom." 
Wark wrote that a half dozen wretched Indian houses built of 
poles and mats occupied the beach. He employed one of the 
Chilacooms as a guide. A recent attempt to change the 
name of Steilacoom failed. Pride and sense prevailed. 
Steilacoom Creek became Chambers Creek shortly after Thomas 
M. Chambers took a claim in its vicinity and with a gun defied the 
Hudson's Bay Company to dislodge him. Doctor Tolmie under- 
took a number of times to move him but the resolute settler 
ignored notice after notice until he had worn the edge off the 
company's desire for the land. To more safely establish himself 
he urged other settlers to take claims near him. Chambers built a 
sawmill and later a gristmill near the mouth of the creek. Bolton, 
one of the sailors, had been a ship's carpenter and he was building 
a ship yard. At Higgins Beach William B. Wilton, C. C. 
Batchelder and A. A. Plummer were cutting piles for the San 
Francisco market. In after years the Wilton waterway figured 
in a ferry-and-dock plan in which A. R. Titlow w^as interested 
for the benefit of the islands west of the Tacoma peninsula. 

Steilacoom, or "Tsla-lakum," or "Tsa-cal-a-coom," or "Sch- 
tal-a-cop" — these various Indian spellings having been used in 
the years past — was the name of a tribe of Indians of Whidby 
Island, Their chief, Steilacoom, was a wealthy and intelligent 
man. Generous mention of him is found in "Historical Sketches 
of the Catholic Church in Oregon during the past Forty Years," 
issued by the Catholic Church in 1878. This publication describes 
the visits of Indians to the Cowlitz mission, 150 miles south of 
Whidby Island in 1839, to see the "black gowns" as the priests 
were called. 

"Among these delegations," says the recital, "was one led by 
a chief named Tsla-lacum. * * * After a journey of two 
days in canoes to Fort NisquAlly, and an arduous march of three 
days on foot, across streams and rivers and by an exceedingly 
rougli trail they reached the Cowlitz with bleeding feet, famished 
and broken down. Their object was to see the 'black gown,' and 
hear him speak of the great spirit." 

August 11, 1841, Father DeMers started for the Sound on a 
tour among the Indian tribes. 


"He travelled," says the publication, "from one nation to 
another accompanied by Chief Tsla-lakum and many other great 
chiefs," teaching the lowly savages the true way by means of the 
Catholic "ladder." 

Some have supposed that the Whidby Island Indians gave 
the name Steilacoom to the locality in Pierce County. It has been 
assumed that the popularity of Steilacoom River as a fishing 
ground probably drew the Whidby Islanders in such numbers 
that their name finally became attached to it. This, however, is 
not the case. Steilacoom is the Indian word for Indian pink 
which grew abundantly in the Steilacoom neighborhood and the 
Indians with the usual sense of the fitness of things in applying 
descriptive names, made no mistake in the case of Steilacoom. 

Then how did the Whidbj' Island Indians come to be known 
as Steilacooms? The solution seems to be that they adopted the 
name, Steilacoom, in honor of Smoot-tas, later surnamed Susway. 
Smoottas was a Steilacoom Indian and was born near what is 
now Lake View. He was an eloquent man and a religious stu- 
dent. He married a princess from Tulalip and took up his home 
on Whidby Island where he became a man of power through the 
force of his high character. He carried the honors of his chief- 
tainship with dignity and he was a benevolent and kindly leader. 
His people referred to him as "Steilacoom" in order to distinguish 
him from others. The fact that he had a surname at once marks 
him as an unusual man. The Indians applied surnames only to 
those whom they would honor. 

Smoot-tas was a brother of Stann, also a strong character, 
and Stann was the grandfather of Mr. Henry Sicade, on his 
mother's side. Mr. Sicade has made a considerable study of 
Indian nomenclature and Indian genealogy and it was he who 
undertook the task of diiferentiating the various Steilacooms 
and especially the task of establishing the relationship between 
the Whidby chief and the Steilacoom vicinity. 

Within recent years there died south of Steilacoom an Indian 
called "Chief Steilacoom," whose real name seems to have 
been Tailcoom. He was about one hundred years of age. It 
too often has been taken for granted that Lake Steilacoom, Fort 
Steilacoom, the town of Steilacoom and Steilacoom River were 

A modern Indian. He is of the Nisqually 
tribe and has been devoting much attention 
to the preservation of the language. 


named in his honor. In times past many literary tributes have 
been J3aid to this Indian by persons who apparently did not 
inquire into the merits of his case. He was an honest, sensible 
man but not an important tribal leader. 

His name appears many times on the books of the Hudson's 
Bay Company b}^ which he was employed. When Captain Wilkes 
visited the Sound in 1841, he reported, a rich Englishman named 
Heath was growing sheep on "Steilacoom farm" near Fort Nis- 
qually. The old Indian was called "the last of the Steilacooms." 
Several intelligent Indians lately inten^iewed refused to give to 
this Indian the distinctions which the whites have paid to him. 
It is denied that he was a chief and it is said that he allowed him- 
self to be clothed with honors to which he was not entitled, a 
frailty not by anj^ means confined to the aborigines. 

The Puyallup Indians now have no chief, according to the 
old custom but they recognize the leadership of "head men." In 
charge of their cemetery Avhich is the only common property 
remaining among the Indians are Henry Sicade, James Goudy, 
James Brewer, John jNIeeker, John Hote, Charles Soticum and 
James Swavall, and their counsels usuallv are followed in all 
matters. The Puyallup chiefs from Squatahan's time — in the 
'50's — were "Tyee Dick," whose Indian name was Sinawah; then 
Sitwell, whose correct name was Sitwulch and who had great 
influence; the fourth was Tom Thompson, whose Indian name 
was Zaqua-la-co. Sitwell then served for another period as 
leader of the tribe, lieing followed by Quayupyet, generally 
known as Tommy Lane, an able man highly thought of. He 
was a half-brother of the famous chief Kitsap and was the 
last chief of the Puyallup tribe. "Tyee Dick" actually 
had the leadership of both the Xisquallies and the Puyallups 
for some time soon after the Indian war, Squatahan having 
passed away. Lane was made chief by the younger ele- 
ment composed chiefly of Indians who had been away to school 
whei-e they learned some of the arts of politics and of representa- 
tive government. Lane was respected by the elders but as long 
as Sitwell lived they regarded him as their chief. 

In the early days of the town of Steilacoom a large Indian 
weighing more than 200 pounds, lived humbly amid the logs and 
stones in the neighborhood of the mouth of Steilacoom (Cham- 


bers) Creek. He, too, by some was called "Chief Steilacoom" 
and at least one contemporary writer gave to him the honor of 
having lent his name to creek, town, lake, fort, and almost to the 
county. For it was the plan in the first place to call this county 
"Steilacoom." Admirers of President Pierce happened at the 
moment to be numerically stronger than the friends of the Indian 

This Indian, known to his white employers as "Steilacoom 
John," had a small shack of cedar bark and mats. Whatever 
rights he had as chief, and, whatever dominion he exercised 
among his peoj^le, the sway of his scepter was impotent in his 
own home. In truth he was a much henpecked person. His 
klootchman ridiculed and reviled him, especially when whites were 
within hearing distance. Mrs. Steilacoom despised with savage 
refinement the whites and all their ways. She urged her spouse 
to take up arms and drive the intruders out. She did not share 
with her husband his gratitude to the Caucasians for bringing 
potatoes to this country. The chief, on the other hand, believed 
that this fact alone compensated for whatever offenses the whites 
might commit against the country. For he loved potatoes. He 
was a pronounced flathead, as were all the Indians, (except the 
slaves), in this country before General Milroy put a stop to it. 
He was once a witness in the trial of a man accused of selling 
whiskey to the Indians, and he was asked if it was difficult for 
Indians to buy liquor. 

"It's no trouble to get whiskey," he replied. "The trouble is 
to get money to buy the whiskey with." 

CI? « • « 

At the same trial an Indian woman was asked: 

"Was he a white man?" 

"No, he was an Irishman," was the reply. 

"Steilacoom John" worked for Pincus & Packscher for some 
twenty years. This firm in the early days had a monopoly of the 
hoop pole business in this section and Steilacoom John furnished 
thousands of them as well as many shipknees, which were shipped 
in great quantities in the early days to San Francisco. On one 
occasion, after the firm had bought the old Byrd mill at Custer, 
high water was washing around one end of the dam which was 
about to be carried away and the Indian was sent to assist in 
saving it. He spent almost an entire day in the icy water up to 







his chin, laboring to check the flood. He was six feet in height, 
stood straight, and was a dependable man. 

The Indian Smoot-tas, whom his people called Steilacoom, 
was the only one of the number mentioned who ever was a chief. 
The others were counterfeit. Smoot-tas or Tsla-lakum, as 
Father De^NIers called him, seems in every way to have been 
entitled to the distinction given to him. 

The Indian name of Steilacoom lake was "Whe-atchee," 
which means underhanded or deceitful, according to Jerry 
JMeeker, who has devoted much time in assisting the writer of 
this book in compiling Indian nomenclature. The Indians were 
much puzzled by the conduct of the lakes. They believed their 
mysterious rises and falls to be governed by supernatural forces. 
A seal was once seen by them in Steilacoom Lake and they con- 
cluded that the lake was connected underground with the Sound, 
and their legends tell of the body of an Indian girl who had been 
drowned in American Lake, being found in Commencement Bay. 
The whites have been no less puzzled by the wonderful lake 
region. These lakes lie at difl'erent levels, though close together, 
and it has been fairly well established that there are underground 
connections. The elevations of the lakes, given by the city 
engineer's office, are: Spanaway, formerly known as Bushalier, 
332.8; Tule, 301; American, 247.4<; Gravelly, 229.3; Steilacoom, 

These lakes lie in silt-lined basins. A disturbance of the silt 
permits the water to disappear into the vast gravel bed beneath. 
It has been asserted by competent geologists that a few heavy 
charges of dynamite in the ])ottom of any one of the lakes soon 
^^■ould drain it. It is an established fact that when water from 
the lakes is conducted a few feet away it disap])ears quickly into 
the earth. This makes possible the operation of the hydraulic 
ram at the lake's edge on the property of Dr. Ernest C. Wheeler, 
at American Lake. The operation of a ram by a lake is a paradox 
tliat lias attracted much attention from hydraulic engineers, 
geologists and others. The well in which the Wheeler ram 
operates is some 20 feet from the lake's edge and it is a])out 1.5 
feet in depth. 

In Steilacoom Lake is an island wliich rises and falls. Attor- 
ney E. B. Brockway and others have given some attention to this 

Vol. 1—3 


curiosity. They are certain it is not a mere "floating island," 
such as mav be seen in many shallow lakes. 

Slugamus Coquilton, the Indian, used to say that American 
Lake had borne that name ever since the Wilkes party celebrated 
the Fourth of July at Sequditchew in IS^l. It has been the 
belief that Captain Wilkes named it, probably combining a patri- 
otic impulse and a desire to honor JNIrs. America Richmond, wife 
of the missionary at the Hudson's Bay Company post in 1840-2. 
The Indian name for the lake was "Sportals," derived from an 
interesting legend: Toward the east end the lake is narrow. 
Deer, when hard pressed, swam it here, followed by the limiter, if 
he were daring enough. At great intervals and seen only by the 
select, the water suddenly would begin a movement that produced 
a great whirlpool, causing a nuisical, swishing sound. Then 
there would appear, as if caused by the rushing waters, a beau- 
tifid striped horse called "Sportals," or "Spootlith." The one 
who saw the "Sportals" and only for an instant, in time became 
great and usually was elevated to a chiefship. 

American Lake is about 10.5 feet in depth, and Gravelly about 
160 feet. Steilacoom's greatest depth is about twenty-five feet. 
These lakes are all higher in the early summer than in the autumn. 
The difl'erence between the high and the low levels of Gravellv 
Lake sometimes reaches twelve feet. The rise and fall of Steila- 
coom Lake is only about three feet, according to James R. 
Thomj^son, who long has observed it, and its level is supposed to 
be controlled by Clover Creek. That stream, rising in springs, 
is believed to be under the influence of the vast underground flow 
of water through the bed of gravel that lies between the melting 
snows of INIount Tacoma and the Sound, though its conduct at 
times is not in consonance with that theory. Gravelly and Amer- 
ican lakes are believed to be fed by the same underground flow. 
No one has discovered any indication of either inflow or outflow 
in Gravelly Lake. The lakes usually are highest at about June 1 
and lowest in October and November. They afl^ord a field for 
wide study, no doubt with interesting results. Henry Sicade says 
the Indian name of Gravelly Lake was "Cook-al-chy," meaning 
pond lily. Steilacoom was called "Wy-at-chew," meaning 






One day Stephen Judson, then a youth of about nineteen, 
heard the Indians — twenty-five or thirty in number — in pow-wow 
about "Shillawilton's" cabin, and he ran down to see what it was 
all about. He found the Indians much excited. Several speeches 
were made. Strange faces were there. The young friends with 
Avhom he had hunted and played shunned him. A dance began. 
He asked several to tell him the meaning of the unusual exer- 
cises. He was ignored. The dance grew wilder. "Scar-faced 
Charley," as he swung around the circle with the dancers, moved 
close enough to young Judson to give him a warning: 

"Klat-a-wa! Klat-a-wa!" 

In the Chinook dialect that means "Go hence! Get out!" 
and young Judson lost no moments in obeying the Indian's 
injunction. He hastened home, told his parents that trouble 
impended, and at once preparations were made to depart. 

Loading their belongings on a scow thev and the De Lins 
started in the night for Steilacoom in a pouring rain. This was 
late in October, 1855. 

They slowly sailed with the tide, helping a little with poles 
and oars. About 10 o'clock they reached Swan and Riley's fish- 



ing camp, where they remained until morning when they pro- 
ceeded to Steilacoom, which, guarded by Fort Steilacoom, on the 
hill above, fared safe and comparatively undisturbed by the war- 
fare that followed. 

The next night Peter Judson and his son, Stephen, came from 
Steilacoom, crept through the timber almost into the midst of a 
pow-wow which the Indians were holding on the Reservation and 
recovered their three yoke of oxen, which the Indians had driven 
ofp. By walking all night they reached South Tacoma by day- 

Later the De Lin family heard that "Shillawilton" had been 
saving some of the ammunition the}^ had given him, to begin 
warfare on the whites and the "chief" himself had expected to kill 
his benefactors. 

The Judsons never returned to Commencement Bay. They 
took up a claim on the Xisqually. Stephen became a notable 
figure in democratic •politics. John Paul Judson became promi- 
nent as an attorney and served as territorial superintendent of 

The beginning of the Indian war and the development of 
Fort Steilacoom gave to the Town of Steilacoom a new import- 
ance. The guarantee of safety under the protection of 
the fort made the village an inviting haven and thither most of 
the settlers in all this section repaired. Ships of the United 
States navy frequently visited it, carrying sup})lies for the fort 
and transferring troops. Hostile Indians never approached the 
fort and, tliough they were seen at intervals on the bay and on 
the islands, thev never attacked the Town of Steilacoom. 

Steilacoom was the rendezvous of the wliite settlers through 
the Indian war. Tliere was a stockade, about 70 by 100 feet, 
built about a five-room two story log house on the waterfront at 
the foot of what then was called Webber Street. When the 
Sherwood Bonney family reached Steilacoom in a chilling down- 
pour of rain in 18.33, the family of the famous Rev. John F. 
DeVore occupied this house, and they took the travelers in. In 
this same log house, within the stockade, was born William P. 
Bonnev, now secretary of the State Historical Society. 

Sherwood Bonney and his \ar^e family lived in the house 


throughout the Indian war. JNIrs. O. C. Shorey, who was one of 
the Bonney children, tells how the children of Steilacooni were 
wont to keej) their trinkets tied in handkerchiefs ready for quick 
removal and many of them had hiding places picked out beneath 
logs in the woods both for their belongings and themselves, in 
case the Indians should attack. 

Lyman Bonne}^ who helped to build the stockade, recently 
wrote the following account of it : 

"I am almost certain, but not quite sure, that the log house 
belonged to Balch & Webber, founders of the city of Steilacoom. 
I know they built a log warehouse on the beach not far from the 
John Chapman addition to the future great metropolis of the 
Northwest — as they thought. 

"The log house referred to, as I remember, was about 42 by 
22, with an entrance on the main avenue or street, with the back, 
or rear, facing the Sound. 

"I well remember our first coming to town between there and 
the fort. We either overtook him, or he us, I could not say which. 
However, we fell in with our mutual friend, Rev. J. F. De Vore. 
As it Avas raining very hard at the time. Brother John F. kindlv 
offered to share his home with us until such time as we could 
secure shelter elsewhere. As we all were cold and wet from an 
all day ox drive father drove up to the front door and unloaded 
the little plunder left after crossing the Plains the year before 
to Oregon, then to Puget Sound, arriving early in Xovember. 

"Had it not been for Brother De Vore's kind offer I don't 
know what we would have done, for there were no vacant houses 
at that time and very few occupied ones, as I remember the situa- 
tion. In fact, at that early date of Steilacoom's history there 
were very few houses. 

"The summer of ',55, the Indians having taken the war])ath, 
we, with many otliers, moved to the village for safety, and finding 
the old log house vacant moved into it. Soon after — I do not 
recall if it was weeks or montlis — a town meeting was called and 
j^lans were ado])ted for fortifying the old log house, and steps 
were taken to stockade the place, using split cedar logs about 
twelve feet long with the lower end stuck about two feet in the 


"This feature I remember very distinctly, as Brother Dave 
and I hauled, or helped to haul, the logs from the nearby woods. 
The stockade extended all around the building and was presuma- 
bly 100 feet by 70 feet wide. The door was on the southeast 
corner. An old iron cannon was placed near the entrance and 
loaded with scrap iron and a few links of log chain, which gave it 
the tone of being charged with genuine shrapnel or grape and 
cannister. As I remember the formidable weapon when fired, the 
great danger was in the rear. The gun was never fired after 
being loaded, that I knew of, nor do I recall what ever became of 
it. Before the war it was used for firing salutes on special 

"I think it was a 4-inch gun. I have my doubts as to its ever 
being charged with ball that size. Judging from the amount of 
cash in the Bonney family I am quite sure there wasn't enough 
in the town to have bought one ball. 

"Port holes were placed at a convenient height three or four 
feet apart. The building stood opposite the old Phil. Keach resi- 
dence, or between that and the Sound." 

Nearly everybody in Steilacoom slept within the stockade. 
Each family brought bedding which was sj)read about the five 
rooms — three upstairs and two down. There was scarcely room 
to step between bodies when all were in their beds. It now and 
then happened that one of the babies became frightened, the 
fright spread, and all cried, everybody was awakened, and the 
hubbub was great. Such an episode was regarded as a serious 
thing — it might attract the Indians. But the Indians never came, 
though Steilacoom had several good scares. One night Col. M. 
T. Simmons was approaching the village in a canoe rowed by 
several Indians. He, with the aim of assuring the residents that 
the mission of his red oarsmen was peaceful instructed them to 
sing as they rowed in. Instead of being accepted as he intended 
it, the citizens construed the Indian chant as a war song and 
there was a scramble for weapons on the part of the men while 
the women hastened to the stockade with their children. 

In the log house within the Steilacoom stockade was taught 
the first school, with Mrs. Bonney as the teacher. In July, Aug- 
ust and September of 1854, she conducted a school there. Her 


own baby rolled about on a quilt spread on the floor while she led 
the youngsters of her neighbors through the alphabet. Miss 
Babb, sister of Mrs. DeVore, was the next teacher. 

The Indian war west of the mountains had at least three 
causes. The fundamental cause was the grinding of civilization 
against the weaker w^alls of savagery. The treaty made with the 
Puyallups, Nisquallies, Steilacooms and others on the banks of 
Medicine Creek, which the Puyallups called "Squa-quid," and 
the Nisquallies, "She-nah-man," gave to nine tribes, numbering 
in all about 900 Indians, 4,000 acres of land. Lachalet, the 
Nisqually chief who had guided Doctor Tolmie to the mountain 
in 1833 and wiio was a firm friend of the whites, had been dead 
for some time. The tribe had refused to permit his sons to suc- 
ceed to chief ship and it remained without a head until Gen. Isaac 
Stevens in 1854 made Leschi and Quiemuth, sometimes called 
"Two Party," the chiefs and it was they who met the 
governor and his partj^ in December, 1854, to represent their tribe 
in the treaty negotiations. 

Chief Squatahan and others represented the Puyallups, who, 
disappointed with the offering of land made to them, hung back, 
and it was not until Sinawah, known as "Tyee Dick," made an 
impetuous speech urging them to accept the treaty that they did 
so. The treaty gave them 1,280 acres to the eastward of the 
present site of the Tacoma smelter, as they understood it. 

The Indians had until that time been restricted by no white 
man's fences. They had been permitted to do about as they 
pleased by the Hudson's Bay Company people with whom they 
lived in amity. Governor Stevens was a zealous public servant, 
intensive, restless and industrious, looking forward to the very 
rapid settlement of the Puget Sound country and fully expect- 
ing a transcontinental railroad to tie it to the east within four 
or five years. 

While the council was in progress on Medicine Creek Leschi 
angrily tore up the paper which had been given to him appointing 
him as chief. He thvew the scraps to the ground and stamped 
upon tliem. Both Leschi and Quiemuth afterward took up arms 
against the whites. 

There was an unsatisfactory element involved in all con- 


ferences of an important character between the Indians and the 
whites. An insuperable gulf existed between the characters of 
the races. The theory of land ownership as the whites under- 
stood it was not congenial to, if comprehended by, the Indian. 
But eliminating these points, there was the difficulty of perspica- 
cious conversation. The negotiations at JMedicine Creek were 
for the most part carried on in Chinook — a bastard tongue of 
some 300 words, and certainly it easily was possible, with a vocab- 
ulary so circumscribed, for one side or the other to misunderstand. 
Many of the Indians afterw^ard said they had misunderstood the 
terms of the JNIedicine Creek treat5\ It gave to them the excuse 
they desired as a defense for their warfare. Whatever part of 
negotiations were conducted in the Nisqually tongue had to 
travel the precarious path of translation. And the Indian inter- 
preter, like the white, is a sinner of old. 

It is somewhat far-fetched to present as one of the causes 
of the Indian war a watermelon from the patch at the ^Vhitman 
mission, over in the Cavuse countrv east of the mountains. Yet 
no less an authority than Doctor Tolmie once suggested it. Of 
all the Indians in the Northwest the Cayuses are said to ha\'e 
been the most superstitious. They also were exceedingly sus- 
picious. They had a mortal hatred of the "medicine man." To 
a greater or less degree this superstition and suspicion prevailed 
through all the tribes. Doctor Tolmie has described the dangers 
he faced because he was a medical j)i'actitioner and sometimes 
prescribed to ill Indians. Some of the Indian tribes followed the 
old Chinese custom of destroj'^ing the physician who did not cure. 

In 1841 tartar emetic was injected into a number of water- 
melons at the Whitman mission in order to teach the Indians not 
to steal them. The Indians ate and were made ill. Ever after 
that the Cayuses regarded Doctor Whitman as a dangerous man, 
and the opinion was magnified when the Indians later learned 
how the melons had been prepared for them. It created a danger- 
ous impression throughout the tribes east of the mountains and 
was one of the episodes that led to the Whitman massacre. And 
the Whitman massacre had a very definite connection with tlie 
Indian war. It is not probable that the Indians west of the 
mountains would have risen against the whites had they not been 
inflamed by the crafty chiefs from east of the range. 


Tlie l^uyallup Indians never occupied the reservation 
designated in the treaty. It was an impossible expectation. The 
spot was crowded with heavy timber. There scarcely was an 
open acre for grazing or for a potato patch. The Indians loved 
"Ta-ha-do-wa," but only a few of them were ready to fight 
for it. 

Kapidly the resentment of the Indians crystalized. Late in 
October, 185.), they committed the White River massacre. The 
settlers on the Tacoma peninsula probably heard the alarming 
news about the same time it was conveyed to those who lived on 
the Puyallup and Nisqually rivers. Ezra Meeker's "Pioneer 
Reminiscences of Puget Sound" says that at about 2 o'clock on 
the morning of October 29 a loud knock at the door alarmed his 
family, the members of which were Jacob R. Meeker, Oliver P. 
Meeker and himself. They were living just beyond the confines 
of what is now South Tacoma. 

Charlie Salitat, (probably Sahletatl), a Puyallup, Indian, 
riding a fleet pony, carried the warning to all of the settlers in 
this section. About eighty persons were living in the Puyallup 
Valley, but they were rather widely separated and their cabins 
were hid by the timber and underbrush, so that there was 
almost no communication among them. It was the belief of the 
settlers that the murderous Snoqualmies would carry their raid 
immediately into the valley and there was a wild and pathetic 
scramble toward Fort Steilacoom. There was haste to catch 
the horses and oxen, many of which had roamed for a distance in 
unfenced pastures. Wagons were loaded with bedding and pro- 
visions. Houses were nailed u}). Some of the settlers, in their 
hysteric flight, took nothing and reached the fort without food or 
bedding, and exhausted. Others, more forehanded, drove with 
them all their stock and carried most of their household furnish- 
ings, which were meager at best, and with chicken coops tied 
on top of their loads. For two days the frightened pioneers trailed 
into the fort. Lieutenant Nugen, at Fort Steilacoom, detailed 
Captain Wallace's company to protect the campers, and wrote: 

"I have nearly all the women and children in the country at 
the jjost and will of course protect them." 

Some of the women in the settlements had been left alone 


with their children, their husbands having joined the expedition 
of Captain Maloney across the mountains, bent upon chastising 
the Indians there. These women, brave souls they were, all 
reached the fort or some of the blockhouses, of which there were 
several, but it was a trying experience. Catching and harnessing 
horses, loading a wagon, caring for babies — sometimes several 
of them, for those pioneer families often were exceptionlly large 
— was not a da}^ dream. 

A paragraph in Mr. INIeeker's book thus picturesquely de- 
scribes the conditions at Fort Steilacoom: 

"A sorry mess this, of women and children crying; some 
brutes of men cursing and swearing; oxen and cows bellowing; 
sheep bleating; dogs howling; children lost from parents; wives 
from husbands; no order; in a word, the utmost disorder." 

Lieutenant Xugen did the best he could for them. He 
arranged temporary quarters for his men and the women and 
children occupied the barracks where the hard floor furnished 
beds for the disconsolate refugees. 

There was fighting a short distance east of Puyallup, at Con- 
nell's prairie and elsewhere. Blockhouses sprang up. The block- 
house nearest the Tacoma peninsula was the Edmund Croft log 
barn, which stood a short distance north of Parkland and a few 
yards west of the present street car tracks. A real estate agent 
converted it into firewood a few years ago. Only a clump of 
ferns now marks the spot. 

A number of the soldiers who took part in the war have lived 
in Tacoma, and a few of them still are here. One of them is 
Freeman W. Brown, eighty-four years of age. He came to 
Grand INIound prairie in 1854 and was a school teacher when the 
war began. He joined the command of Capt. Gilmore Hays, 
fought in the all-night battle at Connell's prairie and with others 
was sent on a scouting expedition up to the Carbon River, where 
they surprised a band of about a dozen Indians living in grass 
huts. Several of the Indians ran and were killed, one of them 
being a chief. They brought three prisoners back to the camp on 
the Puyallup Riv&r. One of them seemed to have the smallpox. 

On reaching camp the soldiers found in the pockets of one of 
the Indians, papers which seemed to indicate that they had been 


implicated in the massacre on White River. One of the soldiers 
was James Brannan, whose kinsmen had heen killed there. 
Immediatel}^ and with unanimity it was voted to stand the 
Indians in a row and shoot them, and this program was carried 
out without further ceremony. Mr. Brown says the Indians 
faced the rifles with stolidity and so sign of fear. 

]Mr. Brown was standing guard at the Puyallup camp when 
a rmmher of Indians attempted a surprise. He saw them in the 
moonlight creeping over the brow of a hill and gave the alarm. 
At the first volley one of the Indians was wounded. Soldiers 
dragged him into camp, though he fought with the vigor of a 
madman. It was Kanasket, dangerous chief, and he died hating. 

"It is Kanasket!" he said imperiously. He knew he was 
dying, but said he did not fear it; if he could, he would return to 
the battle and fight as long as he had breath. William Lane, 
Lieutenant Van Ogle, who built the "Van Ogle mansion" at 
South Sixth and E Streets, and now living in Orting, and James 
Longmire, discoverer of Longmire springs, contributed chapters 
to the Indian warfare. 

Chief Leschi had surrendered to the military forces and was 
placed in the guardhouse at Fort Steilacoom. The federal 
soldiery had permitted him to believe that if he came in, he would 
be treated as a prisoner of war. His brother Quiemuth surren- 
dered to Mr. Ogle and Mr. Longmire. Mr. Longmire's account 
of that affair and subsequent events says : 

"Quiemuth and Leschi had separated; for what reason I 
never knew. The former grew tired of fighting and came to 
Ozha, a Frenchman, who lived on the Nisqually River, near the 
crossing of the jSTorthern Pacific Railway bridge, and asked \}\m 
to come and see me and learn if I would take him to Governor 
Stevens safely, as he wanted to surrender, and would risk his life 
witli the Governor. 

"I told Ozha to bring Quiemuth to me after dark, for if he 
were seen some one would surely kill him. I was glad he had 
surrendered, as he was the only chief left on our side of the river 
whom we feared; but I hardly knew why he came to me, unless 
he thought, as I was a friend of Governor Stevens, it would make 
his sentence lighter. 


"It was early in the summer of 1856 when he came one night 
with Ozha into my house, unarmed, shook hands with me and my 
wife, as friendly as if he had not heen fighting us and our friends 
for months and months, rendering life a burden to us. I got my 
horse, and taking Van Ogle, George Braile, Ozha and Betsy 
Edgar, a squaw and friend of Ozha's, we started to Olympia, 
Quiemuth riding close to me, talking freel}^ all the way, telling 
me if the Governor did not kill him he would show me where 
there was lots of gold, as he knew where it was. 

"It was a gloomy ride that night through the rain, and when 
we reached Olymj^ia, between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning, we 
were wet, muddy and tired. I wakened Governor Stevens and 
told him I had Quiemuth, who wanted to see him. He got up 
and invited us in, then ordered luncheon, of which we partook 
heartily, as we were hungry as well as tired. Ozha, Van Ogle, 
and George Braile went to the stable with our horses, while I 
stayed with Quiemuth. 

"The Governor handed our prisoner a pipe of tobacco, which 
he smoked a few minutes, telling me between puffs that he 
thought the Governor was a good man and would not hurt him — 
that he was a good 'tillicum.' The Governor offered me a bed, 
which I declined, as I was wet and muddy, and told him to give 
me some blankets and I would lie down by the fire in the office. 

"Blankets were brought for me and Quiemuth, and we lay 
down, one on either side of the fireplace, I being next to the 
door. In the meantime news of the Chief's surrender must have 
been circulated, although I had intended it should be kept secret. 

"The Governor -left lights burning in the office, bade us good 
night, and again retired, and I was soon in a deep sleep, from 
which I was aroused by a great noise, I hardly realizing what it 
was or what caused it. I sprang to my feet, and as I did so I 
lieard the sound as of persons running out of the house, and tlie 
lights were out. I saw by the dim firelight a man fall and heard 
a groan, and, rushing to the falling man, I found it was Quie- 
muth, sj^eechless and dying. 

"At this moment Governor Stevens rushed in, saying, as he 
saw the dead Chief, 'Who in the h — 1 has done this?' 

"I rej^lied, 'I do not know.' 








"'In my office, too!' he added; 'this is a club for General 

"General Wool had disapproved the policy of Governor 
Stevens, as well as that of Governor Curry, of Oregon, in the 
prosecution of the Indian war. Before the Governor reached the 
office I ran to the door, and by the dim morning light I saw 
eighteen or twenty men outside the door. 

"Never in my long and intimate acquaintance with Governor 
Stevens did I ever see him so enraged as he was that night ; and 
justly, too, it seems to me, for even after all these years it kindles 
my wrath when I think of the cowardly deed. 

"It being nearly daylight, the body of Quiemuth was left on 
the carpeted floor of the office until the coroner's inquest was had, 
which brought out the fact that Quiemuth had been shot with a 
pistol, the ball taking effect in the right arm and right side, which 
Doctor Willard, Sr., declared never could have killed any man; 
but a closer examination sliowed the Chief had been stabbed with 
a very fine blade, which had penetrated the heart, causing instant 

"One Joe Bunton was arrested during the inquest, on suspi- 
cion. Elwood Evans, of Tacoma, then a young lawyer of 
Olympia, conducted the prosecution, B. F. Kendall the defense; 
the result being the acquittal of Bunton, though many believed 
him to be the guilty party." 

David Longmire, one of the sons of James, is a prosperous 
and well known citizen of Yakima County, and has spent much 
effort in investigating the Quiemutli killing, as well as other mat- 
ters of history, and he is positive that Joe Bunton was the guilty 
man, and he savs that the knife with which the Indian was stabbed 
is now in the custody of one of Bunton's kinsmen in Xortli 










From the beginning to the end of the Indian Avar there had 
been trouble betAveen JNIajor-General Wool, commander of the 
United States forces. Department of the Pacific, and Governor 
StcA^ens. Wool — old, bull-headed and probably ignorant of the 
needs of the situation — persistently refused to co-operate intelli- 
gently Avith the A^olunteer soldiers, Avho carried the burden of the 
Avar. The blame for this harmful absence of co-operation lay 
largely in the national capital. Both Governor Stevens and 
General Wool were in the federal employment. 

Governor Stevens was charged with recklessness Avhen he 
ordered his soldiery to remove to Fort Nisqually the foreign- 
born settlers on the Nisqually plains. Governor Stevens believed 
these, many of A^'hom had married squaAvs, had been contributing 
aid and comfort to the AA'arring Indians. These settlers Avere 
released and returned to their farms, but soon Avere rearrested 
and charged Avith treason. They Avere sent to Fort Steilacoom, 
there to be placed under guard by Colonel Casey, Governor 
Stevens instructing that: "Even if the evidence should fail to 
convict one or more of them, the peace of the country requires 
that those not convicted be kept in close confinement till the end 
of the war." 



Attorneys Frank Clark and W. H. Wallace undertook to 
procure writs of habeas corpus on April 2, 1856. Governor 
Stevens immediately issued a proclamation declaring martial law. 
The prisoners remained in custody for some weeks, when Chief 
Justice Edmund Lander convened court in Steilacoom. He dis- 
patched four deputies with capiases, summoning every citizen 
more than sixteen years of age to court April 7. Colonel Shaw 
meantime had notified Governor Stevens, who replied: 

"Enforce martial law." 

Judge Lander wrote to Governor Stevens warning him of 
the "imminent danger of collision" betw^een the military and civil 
authorities, and the situation grew dangerously tense. When 
court opened on the seventh, about thirty citizens, armed and 
determined to uj^hold the civil authority, were in the court room. 

Colonel Shaw marched into the room with about twenty volun- 
teers. The thirty citizens had determined, after a conference, 
that if Colonel Shaw should give an order to clear the court room 
they immediately would attempt to shoot Shaw down. - 

In order to avoid bloodshed Judge Lander quietly surren- 
dered and was taken away as a prisoner under Colonel Shaw, who 
removed him to Olympia. Court was to be opened by Judge 
Lander in Olympia on INIay 13th, and the governor, in order to 
stop it, also placed Thurston County under martial law. How- 
ever, Judge Lander opened his court, and on INIay loth he ordered 
Governor Stevens arrested for contempt. JMounted volunteers 
appeared and Judge Lander took refuge in the office of Elwood 
Evans, then and for many years afterward one of the territojy's 
prominent attorneys and in the later years of his life a resident 
of Tacoma. The door was locked. Captain Bluford INIiller 
kicked it in, arrested Judge Lander and sent him to Camp Mont- 
gomery, where he was "held in honorable custody" until the war 
on the Sound was practically over. Judge Lander opened his 
regular term of court in July. Governor Stevens appeared by 
counsel and was fined $50 for contempt of court, but Governor 
Stevens immediately pardoned Governor Stevens. jNIeantime the 
foreign-born settlers had been discharged and returned to their 

Feeling ran very high. Elwood Evans made a vigorous 


speech in front of the governor's office in Olympia, denouncing 
the governor as a "bandy-legged little tyrant." .The governor 
was sitting in the window, laughing, as the tier}- Evans denounced 

Governor Stevens probably was justified in believing that 
some of the squawmen actually were giving aid to the fighting 
Indians, but history does not approve of his declaration of martial 
law, and the United States Secretary of State said that the Presi- 
dent, "while having no doubt of the jjurity of his motives, disap- 
proved of his action in proclaiming martial law." 

Matters now rapidly led up to what has been called the 
"Tragedy of Leschi." Leschi had returned to his home on the 
Nisqually plains and in October, 1856, he sent word to Doctor 
Tolmie to meet him. Doctor Tolmie and Edward Huggins 
complied, and held a conference with the chief near Fort 
Nisqually. Doctor Tolmie wrote an account of this meeting a 
short time afterward in the following language : 

"In the summer of 18.56 Leschi, Avith the other chiefs, made 
j^eace with Colonel Wright, in command of the regulars in 
Yakima Yalley, after which general pacification and, as the 
Indians phrased it. 'laying aside of guns and angry feelings,' 
thev lived for some time in friendly intercourse with the soldiers. 
In the fall of ',56 the Nisquallies returned home and were placed 
on a reservation much more to their liking than that originally 
fixed upon. 

"In October Leschi came, and as I was the first white man he 
ventured to meet he desired me to acquaint the Americans that, 
if they needed that assurance, he would cut off his right hand in 
proof of his intention never to fight them again. He expressed 
his willingness to surrender to Colonel Casey, commanding at 
Fort Steilacoom, but that officer considered it most prudent that 
Leschi should for a time remain in the woods as prejudice ran 
high against him. Soon afterward, tempted by a large reward 
(this reward was fifty blankets offered by Adjutant-General 
James Tilton) Sluggia entrapped Leschi by treacherous promi- 
ses of complete reconciliation with the Olympia White Chiefs, 
and he was soon after imprisoned on the charge which has led to 
his condemnation." 


The betrayer, Sluggia, was Leschi's nephew. Some time 
afterward, Wa-hoo-lit, known as "Yehn Jim," met Skiggia, 
reviled him for his perfidy and raised his rifle. Sluggia covered 
his face with his blanket and awaited the fatal shot, which was 
not delayed. Sluggia reeled and rolled over the bluff not far 
from Leschi's grave. Governor Stevens insisted that Leschi 
should be tried for murder by the civil authorities, the specific 
case being the killing of Col. A. B. Moses. 

November 17, 18.56, Judge Chenoweth convened court in 
Steilacoom to hear the case. Among the jurors were William N. 
Kincaid, known as "Father Kincaid," Sherwood Bonney, father 
of William P. Bonney, Albert Balch of Steilacoom, and Ezra 

The case was hard fought. The military men assisted in 
Leschi's defense. At last all the testimony was in, the court room 
was cleared and the jury began its deliberations. 

Hour after hour the balloting stood eight to four — eight for 
conviction and four for acquittal. At length the jury reported 
that it could not agree, but it was seuFback with instructions to 
return a verdict. It was, however, unable to do so. Kincaid 
and Meeker steadfastly stood for acquittal. The jury was dis- 
charged, and Leschi M^as returned to Fort Steilacoom for 

The question at issue seemed to be whether or not Leschi, as 
an Indian soldier, should be convicted for acts which among white 
soldiers would be regarded as acts of war. The court instructed 
the jury that if the killing of Moses was an act of war, Leschi 
was not guilty of murder. 

There is a question whether or not Leschi was in the imme- 
diate neighborhood of the place where Moses was killed. Yet his 
activity in the war is not doubted. He visited the tribes east and 
west of the mountains urging them to make war, and his abilities 
as an orator made him an influential man. Snowden's History 
of Washington says of him : 

"He did not fail to picture to their imaginations that 'Polakly 
Illahe,' the land of darkness where no rays from the sun ever 
penetrated; where there was torture and death for all the races 
of Indians; where the sting of an insect killed like the stroke of 

Vol. 1—4 


a spear, and the streams were foul and muddy, so that no hving 
thing could drink of the waters. 

"This was the place to which the white man intended to banish 
them when they should be strong enough and he called upon them 
to resist like braves so terrible a fate. The white men were but 
a handful now. They could all be killed at once and then others 
would fear to come. But if there was no war thev would ffrow 
strong and many and soon put all the Indians where torture 
awaited them." 

However, the Indians themselves then and since have held 
Leschi in high esteem as a loyal, strong man who Mas battling 
for the rights of his people. His name is venerated among 
them all, and he was admired by many of the whites. 

Leschi's next trial began JNIarch 18, 18.57, in Olympia, with 
Judge Lander on the bench. This time the jury found Leschi 
guilty, with death as the penalty. Application for a new trial 
M-as overruled, and renewed efforts were made to save the 
Indian's life. Lieutenant Kautz prepared a map designed to 
show the impossibility of Leschi's commission of the crime, but 
the court refused to admit it. Leschi was sentenced to be hanged 
on June 10. Tlie case was carried to the supreme court, where it 
was not reached for nine months. The court upheld the jury's 
verdict and December 18, 1857, Leschi again was brought in for 
sentence. George H. Himes, now secretary of the Oregon His- 
torical Society, and one of the most industrious gatherers of 
historical data on the coast, has left us Leschi's remarks on that 
occasion. The Indian said: 

"I do not see that there is anv use of saA'ing anvthing. Mv 
attorney has said all he could for me. 

"I do not know anything about your laws. I have supposed 
that the killing of armed men in war time was not murder ; if it 
was, the soldiers who killed Indians are guilty of murder, too. 
The Indians did not keep in order like the soldiers and therefore 
could not fight in bodies like them, but had to resort to ambush 
and seek the cover of the trees, logs and everything that would 
hide them from the bullets. This was their mode of fighting and 
they knew no other. 

"Doctor Tolmie and Quatlith, the red-headed chief, warned 

Pater Euuquist's old blacksmith shop 

Bak'h & Webber 's store, the first in Pierce 
County. Torn down about 1905 

Old courthouse, still standing. Here the 
famous Lesehi was tried 

First brick liuilding in the Nurtiiwest 


me against allowing my anger to get the best of my good sense, 
as I could not gain anything by going to war with the United 
States, but would be beaten and humbled and would have to hide 
like a wild beast in the end. I did not take this good advice, but 
nursed my anger until it became a furious passion which led me 
like a false Ta-man-u-ous. 

"I went to war because I believed that the Indians had been 
wronged by the white men, and did everything in my power to 
beat the Boston soldiers but for lack of numbers, supplies and 
ammunition I have failed. 

"I deny that I had any part in the killing of INIiles and INIoses, 
I heard that a company of soldiers were coming out of Steilacoom 
and determined to lay in ambush for them ; but did not expect to 
catch anyone coming from the other way. I did not see Miles or 
Moses before or after they were dead, but was told by the Indians 
that they had been killed. As God sees me this is the truth." 

Leschi then made the sign of the cross and said in his own 
Nisqually tongue : 

"Ta-te mono, Ta-te lem-mas, Ta-te ha-le-hach, tu-ul-li-as- 

This, interpreted, meant : 

"This is the Father, this is the Son, this is the Holy Ghost; 
these are all one, and the same. Amen." 

"Quatlith, the red-headed chief," was the Indian name for 
Colonel Shaw. 

After the court had heard the prisoner's statement the date of 
execution was fixed for January 22, 1858. Efforts at once were 
begun to procure from Governor MclNIullen, who had succeeded 
Stevens, a pardon for the convicted Indian. Doctor Tolmie. the 
army officers and several Hudson's Bay Company people made 
strong appeals for him. Doctor Tolmie described his acquaint- 
ance with the prisoner for more than twenty years. Colonel 
Casey begged the governor for a respite, and otlier army officers 
joined in the attempt to save the Indian's life by presenting maps 
and testimony designed to prove that he could not have committed 
the crime alleged. 

These efforts all failed, yet I^esclii did not liang on tlie day 
set. Just before the time for the execution Lieutenant McKib- 


ben, who luid been appointed a special deputy for the purpose, 
arrested the sheriff, George Wilhanis, on a warrant issued by 
United States Commissioner J. M. Batchelor. The sheriff was 
charged with selling whiskey to Indians. The deputy sheriff, 
who had been designated as Leschi's executioner, also was 
arrested on the same charge. The contriver of this plot was 
Frank Clark, the Steilacoom lawyer who figures again and again 
in the highlights of local histor3\ 

The defeat of the law's plan caused vigorous mass meetings to 
be held both in Olympia and Steilacoom, at which Clark, 
Williams and Batchelor as well as Lieutenant JNIcKibben and 
Colonel Casey were severely denounced. The settlers, generalh^, 
wanted Leschi's blood. 

The Legislature, then convening, passed an act ordering the 
judges of the Supreme Court to hold a special session on the first 
Thursday in February to pass upon Leschi's case. This session 
was held and the prisoner ordered resentenced. He was resen- 
tenced, the date being set for February 19th. William INIitchell, 
still living in Olympia at the age of eighty-two, then deputy 
sheriff of Thurston County, was designated as executioner. 

On the day apj^ointed Colonel Casey delivered Leschi to 
INIitchell and he was removed under guard to a spot on the 
"prairie" about a mile east of Fort Steilacoom. There, in the 
pit of a natural amphitheater a rough scaffold had been built. 
Two six-by-six timbers fifteen or twenty feet long were set in the 
ground about five feet apart, joined at the top by a beam. About 
six feet from the ground a platform was built between the posts. 
Nearly three hundred persons had gathered to see the now- 
famous chief executed. The editor of the Pioneer and Democrat 
in describing the execution said : 

"Arriving at the place of execution we found the gallows 
erected in a low gulch in the prairie. Here the unhapx^y man was 
assisted in dismounting and immediately led to the scaffold. 

"At the foot of the ladder, looking up to the rope which was 
suspended, with its sliding noose, he hesitated for a moment; but 
instantly collecting himself, he ascended with a firm step, as if he 
desired to show the white man how fearlessly an Indian can meet 


"The prisoner evincing no desire to sj^eak or make confession, 
his arms were seciu'ed behind him, when, perceiving hfe was draw- 
ing to a close, he bowed himself to the spectators, and for the 
space of some ten or fifteen minutes engaged in fervent prayer; 
said (in the jargon of tlie country) that he 'would soon meet his 
]Maker ; that he had made his peace with God, and desired to live 
no longer; that he bore malice to no one save one man and upon 
whom he evoked the vengeance of heaven.'' 

"Having concluded, the rope w^as adjusted, the cap drawn 
over his eyes, and at thirty-five minutes after eleven the drop fell, 
and Leschi, the brave in battle, was launched into eternity without 
having moved a muscle to indicate fear of death (by hanging) so 
dreadful to an Indian. He made no disclosures whatever, and 
proved as true as the needle to the pole to his confederates." 

The law at last w^as satisfied. Governor Stevens, who had 
unremittingly pursued Leschi, had left the state as a delegate to 
Congress, but before that, in 1856, he had met the Indians on 
Fox Island and had made new treaties with them giving to the 
Puyallups 18,000 acres of land in the Puyallup Valley instead of 
the 1,204 acres on the Tacoma peninsula which they never had 
used. The Xisquallies w^ere given a veiy much greater area than 
the preceding treaty 2)rovided, and land of a more suitable 

Leschi was the victim to some extent of the feud spirit. His 
case had become something of a political issue, and impassioned 
denunciation of his misdeeds had clothed him with a depravity 
greater perhaps than he deserved. Before the outbreak of the 
Indian war he performed many deeds showing a friendly spirit 
toward the whites. He furnished horses for opening the Naches 
Pass road and himself carried food to the workers there, his 
friends have declared. The officers at Fort Steilacoom, where he 
was confined, found him to be a pleasant, intelligent man, not of 
a blood-thirsty disposition. It has been recounted how they 
attempted to save his life by presenting to the court maps showing 
that it w^as impossible for him to have killed JNIoses and INIiles, and 
they insisted that, had he done so, he did not deserve hanging any 
more than a white soldier should have been hanged for killing 


There enters into the case the question of whether or not he 
signed the Medicine Creek treaty. It is known that he was very 
angry on the treaty grounds, and declared that he would not sign. 
But his name appears third, his elder brother's (Quiemuth) being 
first. Jerry Meeker, who some years ago acted as interpreter for 
Ezra ^Meeker when the latter was preparing to write his "Pioneer 
Reminiscences," a large part of which is occupied with a par- 
tisan defense of Leschi, is an important witness now for 
Leschi, owing to his knowledge of Indians and their ways and 
his years of acquaintance with Indians who were on the treaty 
grounds. Jerry Meeker's father was Sky-vick, an industrious and 
honest Indian who for years was employed on the Ezra Meeker 
ranch. From this long employment his children gained the name 
of JNIeeker. Jerry is by no means a defender of Leschi, and 
criticises some of his acts sharply. Yet he does not believe that 
Leschi signed the treaty. If this be true then it is evident that 
some one signed Leschi's name, an act which Governor Stevens 
never for one moment would have allowed had he been aware of 
it. That Indians are wont to forget having signed public docu- 
ments is a fact often mentioned by public officials, and it must be 
considered in this case. 

A new and interesting light lately has been thrown upon the 
case by William Lane, who, as a boy, attended the treaty negotia- 
tions at ^ledicine Creek, afterward fought the Indians in the 
command of Col. William H. Wallace, enduring many hardships, 
and now lives in Tacoma. Of the treaty-making he insists that 
many of the stories of Indian opposition to the proposals of 
Governor Stevens are fictitious; he saj^s "Old jNIike" Simmons, 
the interpreter, was exceedingly particular in placing before the 
Indians the exact facts and of procuring their approbation with- 
out coercion or misrepresentation. 

Now, as to the gTiilt of Leschi: After the war Koquilton, an 
Indian, lived on the Lane claim, he having asked for and been 
given the right to do so by the Lanes who rebuilt their house, 
which the Indians had burned, and returned to farming. One of 
Koquilton's sons was Slugamus, known now as Slugamus Koquil- 
ton, and well identified with northwestern history. About four 
years ago Mr. Lane and W. H. Gilstrap, after having made 


many attempts, persuaded Slugamus to tell them what he knew 
about the movements of Leschi in the Indian war. Mr. Lane 
says Slugamus described in detail how Leschi sent Kanasket out 
among the settlers to reassure them of safety, and how, a day or 
so later, the trap being set, Leschi and about four hundred Klicki- 
tats went into the valley killing and burning. 

Too-a-py-ti, brother of Slugamus, was said to have been the 
Indian who killed James McAllister at Connell's prairie, and in 
April, 1859, he was indicted, and a posse consisting of McAllis- 
ter's son George, his son-in-law, Eunton, who had killed Chief 
Quiemuth in Olympia, Jim Riley, Hubbard and others, guided 
by an Indian, Wash, went to arrest him — certainly a precarious 
crew, under all the circumstances, to entrust with justice to that 
Indian. The posse apparently did not attempt to arrest 
Too-a-py-ti, but shot him in the back without excuse, then 
hastened back to Steilacoom. William Lane and his father went 
to the Indian's place immediately after the shooting, and William 
Lane, who had had information to the effect that it was Too-a- 
py-ti who had shot JNIcAllister, then and there procured a confes- 
sion from the Indian, though he declared he had been coerced 
into firing the shot. He said that he and about forty other 
Indians in command of Leschi were h^ing in wait when McAllis- 
ter approached. Leschi ordered Too-a-py-ti to shoot. Too-a- 
py-ti refused, saying McAllister was his friend. Leschi, too, 
claimed him as a friend and told Too-a-py-ti that unless he shot 
McAllister, he, Leschi, would shoot Too-a-py-ti. The Indian 
then fired, wounding McAllister. He insisted to Lane that the 
Klickitats then rushed up and dispatched the man, though he 
probably would have died anyway. In a conversation about the 
matter the next day Too-a-py-ti, who was quite repentant, asked 
Lane how long he thought his life would be spared. Lane told 
him that his wound wouldn't kill him ; he had consulted the white 
man's Tyee, and had learned that Too-a-py-ti would live three 
years, no more. Three years from that time Too-a-py-ti visited 
Lane and begged to know if the Tyee's mandate was inexorable — 
if there was no respite for him. Lane told him he had sinned 
"•reatlv; that the Tvee was sorely displeased with him, and that 
he must die. Too-a-py-ti at once made preparations for the end. 


He refused to eat; sat by his smudge day after day, wasting 
away, and in the course of a week or so de^^arted this hf e, a victim 
of the power of suggestion. The potency of the white man's 
Tyee was deeply impressed upon the Indians, and they beheved 
that Too-a-py-ti had paid a just debt. 

The wanton shooting of this Indian by the Riley party 
aroused much severe criticism. Daniel E. Lane sent a vigorous 
letter to the Steilacoom j)aper, which j^rinted it, and in a long 
editorial sharply berated the posse, and condemned the sj^irit of 
revenge which settlers were showing against the Indians. Daniel 
Lane and his familv had come to the territorv from LaPorte, 
Ind., in 1853, with the Longmire party traversing the harrowing 
Naches Pass. In 18.54 they undertook farming on the prairie, 
and they produced there a patch of Dent corn which, William 
Lane saj's, was as fine as any that ever grew out of the best of 
JNIississippi Valley soil. The stalks were thirteen feet in height. 
The seed of this corn was destroyed in the Indian war. The 
Lanes settled at the forks of the river near Orting, and there still 
stands there an old cedar stump with the name of his father, 
Daniel E., carved in it, marking a corner of the donation claim. 

Among the interesting figiu-es in the war was Chief Stehi, 
who lost liis life on the firing line. He was a dignified man, j^roud 
of his blood, and much disturbed by the tendency of some of the 
young men to adopt the ways of the white men. On one occasion 
a young Indian who believed his race should build better houses 
and ape the customs of civilization, called on Stelii to remon- 
strate with him on account of his way of living. The Chief heard 
him through, then rising, he said with fierce scorn: 

"You, who are neither a white man nor an Indian, come here 
to tell me. Chief Stehi, how I should live !" 

After the Indian war Governor Stevens told the Puyallups 
and other Indians that thev might choose wliatever lands thev 
fancied, and Chief Squafahan of the Puyallups made a rather 
extreme demand embracing the northern part of the Xisqually 
Plains, a large part of the Puyallup Valley extending almost to 
Alderton, then northward to the Sound, and westward by such 
lines that the dominion would cover all of the Point Defiance 
peninsula. Governor Stevens thought him rather greedy, but he 


made a show of compliance, and informed Squatahan that he 
would have to fm'nish a guide to show the surveyors the boundary 

Squatahan sent Tobaskef, with careful instructions. They 
started from about Fern Hill, eastward, and at once the surveyors 
began pressing Tobasket to the northward, and they struck the 
Puyallup River far below the point Squatahan had designated. 
The surveyors then instructed Tobasket to swim the river and 
they would pick up the line on the other side where he landed. 
The current was swift and Tobasket landed some distance below. 
That made a noticeable jog in the boundaay line. Having 
crossed, the surveyors gently urged Tobasket westward and b}^ 
the time the Sound had been reached Squatahan's territorial 
dreams again had been decimated by many rods, for they came 
out at about Brown's point, instead of at Redondo. Tobasket, 
still followed by ill-fortune, then made an error in directing the 
surveyors' canoe, and instead of striking Point Defiance, they 
landed not far from where the Tacoma Hotel stands; and went 
southward along the beach. Thus it happened that in the choice 
of lands by the Puyallups, the present site of Tacoma was 
omitted. Otherwise there could have been no Tacoma here. 







In July, 18.57, Lieutenant Kautz undertook the ascent of 
JNIount Tacoina — Rainier. A short account of the expecUtion was 
pubhshed in the Washington Republican, of Steilacoom, Julj^ 24. 
This account said, in part : 

"Some two weeks ago an expedition to ascertain the practica- 
bility of ascending JNIount Rainier, was organized by Lieut. A. V. 
Kautz, U. S. A. Dr. R. O. Craig, U. S. A., joined the party at 
the last moment, which consisted, besides the above mentioned 
gentlemen, of four enlisted men from Fort Steilacoom and an 
Indian named Wah-pow-e-ty, who had once been across from 
.the Cowlitz River down the Nisqually when a boy. The party 
started on the 8th instant with ten days' supplies from Fort 
Steilacoom, taking horses as far as the Mishell prairie, a distance 
of about forty miles. From thence, with six days' j^rovisions, 
consisting of dried meat and hard bread and a blanket on their 
backs, they proceeded across the mountains between the JNIishell 
and Nisqually for five days up the river, traveling on bars wher- 
ever possible but a greater part of the way through the dense 
undergrowth of the bottom, from wliere the Xisqually emerges 
from an immense glacier. 

"The sixth day they started up the mountain but the weather 
was very bad. They soon were enveloped in a storm of hail, snow 
and mist; and unable to see their course they sought a camp, at 
an elevation of 7,000 feet above the sea. 



"The next morning, the 16th, it stopped snowing about 
8 o'clock and they commenced the ascent. The party now con- 
sisted of Lieutenant Ivautz, Doctor Craig, Privates Carol!, of 
ComjJany A, Doge, of Company C, Fourth Infantry, and the 
Indian. About 4 o'clock, at an elevation of 10,000 feet Caroll 
and the Indian gave out and returned to camp. At an elevation 
of about twelve thousand feet Doge said he could go no farther. 
The Doctor was behind, but came up to that point afterwards. 
The crest of the mountain was now fairly turned and the ascent 
less steep. The nearest peak was still to attain, to make the 
observations that were contemplated. It was after 6 o'clock and 
the cold precluded all possibility of staying on the mountain all 
night, as ice was forming in their canteens. The wind was exceed- 
ingly strong and intensely cold. The party now found that they 
should have started earlier in the morning. They decided to 
return and try and make the desired observations the next day; 
but their late return and overexertion was too much for most of 
the party. The Indian had violent inflammation of the eyes and 
could not see; and they could not make a second ascent that day. 
They could not wait, as an examination of their stock of pro- 
visions showed about three crackers and a pound of dried meat to 
the man, to carry them over a tract of country that required six 
days, and the weather being unfavorable they decided to return, 
having at least demonstrated the practicability of ascending the 

The newspaper account goes on to tell what the travelers 

"Signs of deer and bear were plenty. The party killed but 
one deer. They saw numbers of mountain sheep, a small animal 
with long and shaggy black and whitish hair, with the appearance 
and attitude of a small dog, and the motion and feet of a sheep. 
They are exceedingly wild — burrow in the earth, and, at the least 
alarm make for their holes." 

There is no evidence that Lieutenant Kautz indulged in tliis 
ludicrous nature fake. Maybe it was the blinded Indian who 
talked to the editor. The idea of sheep burrowing in the ground 
was new to natural history, and very interesting, if tnie. Later 
if Avas shown that what the party thought were sheep were in 


reality marmots, but the tracks they saw were the tracks of moun- 
tain sheep. 

In after years General Kautz described his climb before the 
Tacoma Academy of Science. This was after the mountain toj) 
had been reached and the craters mapi^ed. It was made plain 
then that though a fearless endeavor had been made he and his 
party failed to reach the nearest peak, and had they climbed that 
they still would not have been at the summit, which is Crater 
peak. They did not see either of the two craters. 

The glory of being the first to wrest the secrets of the summit 
was left to be snatched by Stevens and Van Trump in 1870, but 
General Kautz gave Kautz glacier and Kautz creek to the 
nomenclature of the mountain, and the bravery and endurance 
which he and his men, and Wah-pow-e-ty, the Indian guide, dis- 
played, entitled the lieutenant to the highest praise. It would be 
a fitting thing to name some point on the mountain after this 
Indian. When Lieutenant Kautz left Steilacoom, Leschi was in 
the guard house awaiting death, "and as I had," said General 
Kautz in after years, "greatly interested myself to save him from 
an unjust fate which I knew the Avhite man would eventually 
be ashamed of, he volunteered the information that the valley of 
the Nisqually River was the best approach after getting above 
the falls. He had some little hope that I would take him as a 
guide, but finding that out of the question he suggested Wah- 
pow-e-ty, an old Indian of the Nisqually tribe, as knowing more 
about the Xisqually than any other member of his people." Wali- 
pow-e-ty was all fidelity, though fearful of the mountain. He 
became snowblind and suffered terribly. Lieutenant Kautz had 
to lead him part way back to Steilacoom, adding to the grievous 
hardships of tlie journey through the tangle of brush and heavy 
timber, with insufficient food, with clothing in rags, and all mem- 
bers of the party suffering from exhausting fatigue. Lieutenant 
Kautz liimself never fullv recovered. 







Steilacoom began as two towns January 23, 18.51. Captain 
Lafayette Balch took a claim there and August 23 of the same 
year John B. Chapman took a claim about a mile away. But he 
did not show town-site symptoms for some time after that. Later 
on Balch's town was known as Port Steilacoom, and Chapman's 
as Steilacoom City, and afterward they became "Upper" and 
"Lower" Steilacoom. Balch & Webber founded a large busi- 
ness in lumber, piles, cordwood, furs, fish and hides. Their store 
was at Klickitat and Snoqualmoo streets. Balch paid eight cent?, 
a foot for piles and sold them in San Francisco for $1 a foot. 
Abner IVIartin opened a hotel, and Philip Keach a store. Steila- 
coom soon became the most important town on Puget Sound, 
and in its early davs it made history. 

A famous ^lethodist preacher, Rev. J. F. DeVore readied 
Steilacoom in 1853. Born in Kentucky December 7, 1817, he 
had pioneered as a circuit rider in Illinois. He came West by 
way of New York and the Isthmus of Panama. He preached 
his first sermon in Steilacoom August 28, 18.33, and the same day 
he formed a church society. October 29 of that year tlie first 
quarterly conference was held at his house and it reported a 
Sunday school of four teachers, twenty children and a library 
of forty volumes; and a church membership of seventeen. He 
had proceeded at once to the construction of a church, using as 
a nucleus moneys which he had brought from New York. The 



passengers on the ship upon which lie had come up the coast 
contributed to the fund, and the people of Steilacooni completed 
it. March 19, 1854, the new church, a structure of two stories, 
was dedicated. The cost of it was $2,300. It was church, public 
hall and community center and the second school was conducted 
there. In 1859 the building was ceiled by W. R. and R. M. 
Downey, father and son. Among those who helped in the build- 
ing of the church were, besides jNIr. DeVore and the Downeys, 
O. H. White, William Van Buren and John Kraph, Sr. It was 
the first Protestant churcli north of tlie Columbia River. In 
after years W. R. Downey guarded with a rifle the old church 
bell, a delegation of ^lethodists from Fern Hill being determined 
to take it for their new church. Downey held the fort and saved 
the bell which now graces the handsome monument on the site of 
the old church. 

Steilacooni, with its hundred inhabitants and perhaps 300 
Indians, was not an earthly paradise in those days. The country 
was full of discharged soldiers and former Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany employes. Some of these were desperadoes of a dangerous 
sort. Disreputable whites who had married squaws and had fallen 
almost to the level of savagery, also were a source of annoyance. 

Nearly every merchant in the community sold liquors and 
there was no observance of Sunday as a day of rest by the busi- 

• a. «. 

ness houses. Everything was 'Snde open." Gamblers were not 
disturbed. Street fights, drunken riots, burglaries, robberies 
and killings embroider Steilacoom's youthful history. Judge 
Lynch finally undertook the serious task of correcting some of 
the evils. The virtuous placidity of the Steilacooni we know 
today has been fifty years in the making. INIoderns profess to 
find even in the Mord "Steilacooni" a reflection of the attributes 
of a sunny peacef ulness and a benign habit ; soft northern breezes 
and distant tinkling cowbells. But in other days "Steilacoom" 
was defined as a ribald frontier town, mad as any mining camp, 
devilish and unregenerate. 

When the jail was completed in 1859 the jailer held dances 
in it and a writer of the time complained that the jailer "plays 
tlie fiddle while squaws and their shameless white comjDanions 
dance on the Sabbath, during church service." Almost nightly 
for a while it was the scene of revels unspeakable. 


The first cliurch building in New Taconia was erected by the 
Methodists in 1878 at South C and Seventh streets, with the 
assistance of members of all denominations, and was used for 
some time as a community church. The Methodist congregation 
was organized December 11, 1875. The first Methodist sermon in 
New Tacoma was delivered in a tent on the site of the old Con- 
gregational Church at St. Helens Avenue and South Eighth Street. 
Rev. Martin Judy was pastor when the First Methodist Episcopal 
Church was built. The church was enlarged in 1889. I)i later 
years it became Cornell Brothers ' carpenter shop. It was razed 
a few years ago and the site is now occupied by a garage. 



Flogging was resorted to in the hope of ridding the com- 
munity of its disturbing vagabonds. Three were flogged in one 
day, then escorted well on their way toward Olympia. 

Fort Steilacoom grew in importance, and the groggeries, as 
w^ell as the legitimate establishments of the town below prospered 
by the monthly payroll. Payday usually was followed by a series 
of fights and robberies. It is not to the discredit of the army of 
the present day that a considerable number of the soldiers of that 
early time were men wiio had enlisted in order to escape punish- 
ment for crimes on the Atlantic seaboard. The citizens of Steila- 
coom referred to them sneeringly as the "bulwarks." There were 
serious cases of vandalism attributed to the soldiery. For 
example the home of Edmond Croft (near Parkland) was 
entered, everything turned topsy-turvj^, cut and destroyed, even 
to tlie suj^ply of butter which was wantonly strewn along the 
trail for some distance. Inasmuch as butter was then about $1 
a pound, this was of considerable consequence to the farmer. 

In the late '50's eggs were $1 a dozen and milk $1. a gallon. 
Some of the other prices were: Fresh pork, 121/4 cents; clear 
bacon, 30 cents; flour, $7 a hundred; lamp oil, $1 a gallon; ground 
coffee, 20 cents a pound; dried apples, 19 cents; sugar, 17 cents; 
vinegar, 50 cents; sawed fir, $11@$12 the thousand. 

Sugar was in great demand among the Indians, and they 
bought it freely when they had the money. Their specific devo- 
tion however, was to molasses, a black varietv called "black 
strap" being their choice. On one occasion a Steilacoom store 
shipped in a large quantity of cheap molasses especially for the 
Indians. The dealer paid twenty-five cents a gallon for it and 
sold it for three times that amount. Many Indians were on hand 
to see it discharged from the ship and they watched every move- 
ment with longing eyes. And when the first barrel was tapped 
they swarmed around it with pails, baskets and hats. The news 
quickly went abroad, and for days there was an hegira of aborig- 
ines across the Xisqually plains, Indians traveling for long dis- 
tances to get a share of the precious fluid. The supply was gone 
long before the last red patron called. 

Several attempts had been made to put a newspaper on its 
feet, but none succeeded until Lafayette Balch persuaded 


Charles Prosch to come up from California, and the Puget Somid 
Herald was started March 12, 1858, by G. W. Lee & Co., 
Prosch being the "ComjDany." Lee, however, did not last long, 
Prosch ousting him on account of alleged pecuniary short- 
comings. With Lee's departure there disappeared an important 
l^art of the jDrinting press, but this was recovered from the bay, 
and the Herald proceeded. Prosch procured a great quantity of 
advertising, but most of it came from San Francisco, Teekalet 
and Olympia, with a goodly quantity from eastern concerns offer- 
ing patent medicines, liquors, sewing machines, music and musi- 
cal instruments. Steilacoom merchants, however, did their full 
share, patronizing their newsj^aper with a fine enthusiasm. 
Among the Steilacoom firms advertising in the Herald wei"e 
Balch & Webber, J. R. JMeeker & Sons, dealers in live stock, 
meats, provisions, general merchandise and stationery; Clarke 
Drew, jeweler; S. McCaw & Co., advertising among other things 
"adamantine candles," canned lobsters, oysters, fruits and saler- 
atus; Charles Stewart, liveryman, offering "good saddle horses," 
and "a fine spring buggy for parties wishing to enjoy a pleasant 
ride through the country"; John Walker, liveryman; West & 
Co., blacksmiths — this firm composed of Miles J. West and Peter 
Runquist; Philip Keach, general merchandise; P. J. Moorey, 
wholesale and retail dry goods; Job M. Seaman, "jewelry and 
fancy store"; DeLin & Shorey, carpenters and cabinet makers 
of a high order who in later j^ears removed to Seattle to carve 
by hand the historic pillars for the First State University Build- 
ing. In 1859 the town had two dancing schools and a singing 
school. John McFarland was one of the dancing teachers, he 
having come to the community the year before with one Picker- 
ing. Pickering and McFarland played the violin and piano and 
w^ere giving entertainments along the coast, advertising them- 
selves as "two gentlemen from the Sandwich Islands." They 
came to Steilacoom to give an entertainment and McFarland 
returned later on to open a dancing school. 

Some months later Sanburn & Huson opened a second school 
in Eagen's hall advertising to teach the waltz, schottish, polka, 
gallopade quadrille, "and a variety of contra dances among which 
are Fireman's Dance, Portland Fancy, Tempest, Dash Away 


At about the same time a meeting was called in \Vallace's 
Hall by J. K. McCall, Charles Eagen, James P. Stewart, O. C. 
Shorey, James J. Scott, W. F. Kennedy, G. Ford, A. P. DeLin 
and fifty-two others, the purpose being to form a Dash Away 
Society. This meeting was held and the organization was formed. 
The purpose of this organization was moral reform, but speci- 
fically to rescue the topers, and wdthin a few^ days fifty men had 
signed the pledge, among whom w^ere some of the town's 
wretchedest devotees of Gambrinus. Immediately the saloons 
began advertising "Dashaway Drinks." The town at this time 
had but one church — DeYore's tw^o storj^ building and in this, 
several sects were holding services. Rev. G. M. Berry was 
minister at the fort where he held services in the morning and in 
the afternoon he ministered to the village. The Catholics were 
active and they had a good field as perhaps half of the soldiers 
at the fort were Catholics and a considerable number of the 
settlers on the plains also were adherents of that faith. jNIarch 
6, 1858, the first steps were taken in the store of Philip Keach 
to form an organization w^hich for a number of years w-as of great 
value to the community. This was the Steilacoom Library Asso- 
ciation. ^larch 13 these officers were elected: president, A. P. 
DeLin; vice president, E. A. Light; recording secretary, 
Frank S. Balch; corresponding secretary, O. P. Meeker; treas- 
urer, A. F. Byrd; librarian, P. Keach; committee on lectures and 
debates, W. D. Van Buren, W. P. Byrd and O. H. White; com- 
mittee on library, W. R. Downey, A. H. Woolery and Stephen 
Judson; executive committee, S; McCaw and E. M. Meeker. 
This association immediately invested $300 in books and became 
a considerable center of culture and intellectual activities. 

While Steilacoom was far removed from news centers and the 
ordinary amusements of civilized life, it was not by any means 
w ithout its entertainments. The thrills of reported Indian up- 
risings, the quarrel over San Juan Island between England and 
the United States, squabbles between the settlers and the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, the always interesting rumors of a trans- 
continental railroad, of which Steilacoom profoundly believed it 
would be the terminus, because it was so situated "that a railroad 
could not come down the Sound without passing it," — all these 

Tol. 1—5 


were convenient and deep questions for argument on every 
occasion. Then there was the coming and going of ships. Steil- 
acoom was the busiest port on the Sound. In '58 and '59 there 
was a continuous incoming tide of travel. 

An occasional horse race usually on Sunday, if it shocked the 
devout, probably pleased the majority. There is an account of 
the horse race between Charles Wren's sorrel colt, "Fair Rosa- 
mond" and Charley McDaniel's sorrel horse for $200 a side at 
Thomas Dean's farm on the plains. JNIcDaniel's horse won by 
two lengths, making a half mile in fifty-eight seconds. Three 
weeks later the same horses and an "Oregon Colt" owned by 
Sergeant Gordon at the fort ran a race which ended in a free- 
for-all fight and several persons were badly cut and battered. 
McDaniel and Wren are the same disreputable pair who 
frequently appear in Steilacoom history. 

Among other entertainers were the Chapman family, singers, 
dancers, and black-face artists ; the New Orleans serenaders, and 
occasional lecturers. One of the lecturers brought to Steilacoom 
was Ex-governor Isaac I. Stevens, who talked of his part in the 
Indian war and of his record as governor and in Congress. 
The Herald in reporting this lecture said : "A young man near the 
center of the church, with watery eyes, weak nei*ves, and a brick 
in his hat, at intervals would cry 'Hooray for Guvnur Stevens! 
He's the bold soldier boy!' " The people of Steilacoom tolerated 
a great many things like this. There seemed to be no way to curb 
the disturbers except by resort to summary proceedings and 
certainly the people showed great' patience. The whole Sound 
country was stirred by the announcement of a grand ball by one 
of the communities. Dancing was of course the chief amusement 
in all the smaller places. The grandest grand ball of 1859 was 
given in Seattle. The advertisements announced that "the 
splendid steamer Julia" would carry passengers from Olympia, 
stopping for dinner at JNIilas Galliher's temperance hotel in Steil- 
acoom. There was to be a great clam bake in Seattle preceding 
the dance. John H. Scranton, tlie owner of the Julia, advertised 
that "the Olympia Band of Music will discourse eloquent music 
during the excursion;" and Scranton promised that he would 
"endeavor to tote the weary load elegantly as usual." Many 
Steilacoom people joined this excursion and they had a joyous 


time of it, though the clam bake failed as for some reason the 
Seattleites couldn't find the clams. Everybody danced until 
2 o'clock in the morning then set sail for home, reaching Steila- 
coom at 6 A. M. There was not room enough on the boat for 
anyone to find a comfortable posture for sleeping and it was a 
weary but no doubt happy crowd that finally reached Olympia 
about 10 o'clock. 

The event which gave Steilacoom its greatest impetus but 
from wliich it failed to pluck a golden opportunity due to a mis- 
take in judgment by its best friend was the Eraser River gold 
nish in 1858. INIarch 21 of that year the Wild Pigeon brought to 
Steilacoom the information that gold had been found. The news 
spread like wild fire and soon mills and mines had to suspend 
operations for lack of workers, crews abandoned their ships, 
soldiers deserted military posts. San Francisco sent shipload 
after shipload of argonauts to Whatcom which was the over- 
land starting point for the Eraser River diggings. The announce- 
ment of the gold find was carried to San Erancisco by the Puget 
Sound Herald, copies of which sold at remarkable prices down 

About a dozen men from Steilacoom under the leadershij) of 
Samuel McCaw struck out for the diggings. Among them were 
Charles JNIcDaniel, who, a short time afterward killed Charles 
Adams. Adams' correct name was Andrew Inkster and he is 
said to have been the man who discovered gold on the Eraser 
River. JNIcDaniel demanded that Inkster pay a debt to jNIcCaw. 
Inkster refused. "If you don't, I'll shoot you," declared Mc- 
Daniel. "Shoot and be damned," retorted Inkster and McDaniel 

Eriends of the dead man put a price on McDaniel's head and 
he fled the country. Samuel IVIcCaw ran afoul of the Hudson's 
Bay Company which confiscated his provisions and merchandise 
valued at $2,000. Burleigh Pierce, another member of the party, 
was shot' in a fight with Indians August 17. His companions 
were so hard pressed that they retreated, leaving the wounded 
Pierce behind, but after they had proceeded down the Eraser 
River canyon a distance, Stephen Judson determined if possible 
to rescue him and spurred his companions to assist him. They 
recovered the wounded man and carried him in a gold rocker 


down a terrible trail for three miles fighting every inch of the 
way. Judson and an English sailor acted as rear guards. Jud- 
son, after they had reached safety, then traveled ten miles after a 
doctor but his services were of no avail. Pierce died three days 
later. Judson returned home with a good team and $800 but he 
had lost all of his provisions and about six months' time. 

It soon became evident that what was called the Bellingham 
City trail to the gold diggings was impossible as a safe route, 
and eiforts were made to reach the river by crossing the Cas- 
cades through Naches or Snoqualmie pass. This further attracted 
attention to Steilacoom wliich led in the movement. Steilacoom 
became a recognized point on the gold trail and many men were 
endeavoring to buy property there but Balch lost his judgment. 
Instead of selling and anchoring these men to his town he 
suddenly withdrew from the market his entire townsite. Had 
he pursued a reasonable course probably he could have sold all 
that he owned there at a fine profit and could have given to Steila- 
coom a vitality that would have saved it in after years. 

However, Steilacoom did benefit to a large extent. In 1858 
and 1859 the population more than quadrupled and the number of 
buildings trebled. In 1859 an amusing controversy arose over 
the quality of the carpenters in Steilacoom and one of them M^'ote 
to the Herald that he had taken a census of the adult males, find- 
ing that out of 150, forty-three professed to be carpenters, but, 
he averred, not eight of them were qualified. In that day the 
wedding poem vied with the obituary poem. The following notice 
appeared in Prosch's newspaper: 

"JNIarried — in Steilacoom on Tuesday evening, March 21, 
1859, by Rev. Mr. Berry, Mr. Philip Keach and Miss Sarah 
Antoinette JNIartin, both of Steilacoom. 

"Long may you live in wedded bliss, 

A hundred years or more, 

And may you have a million boys 

And girls a hundred score; 

And when you both shall come to die, 

We hope you'll die together 

And trust the day you're bu-ri-ed, 

It won't be rainy weather." 



cooM — Bradley's chastisement of peshnekai — a ghost 








In order to prove Naches Pass available as a route to the mines 
a party was organized in Steilacoom under the leadership of 
George Parkinson and a train of thirty animals was started in 
charge of W. Coulter, J. B. Roberts, James Charlton, Frank 
Wilcox, Mr. Brock, W. Van Buren, J. Emery, Isaac Lemmon, 
Thomas Geer, JNIoses Ward, Mr. Fitzharris. Just how much 
this party accomplished is not on record but report came back 
from it saying that 1,400 miners were at work on the Wenatchee 
and Naches River. Thc}^ were in imminent danger of Indian 
attack, but this excitement as well as the mining rush, soon died 
out. Meantime the miners on the Eraser were in hard straits. 
Meat had gone to $2 a pound and floiu* to $1.50 a pound. Some 
of the miners returned to Steilacoom almost starved, without hats 
or shoes and with their clothing in tatters. In a few months the 
whole gold movement flattened out, but still the Northwest had 
gained. Many of the miners took up farm lands and became 
valuable citizens. Among those who returned from the mines 
were soldiers who had deserted from Fort Steilacoom, and tliey 
were court martialed. Each was given forty-nine lashes on tlie 
bare back, his head was shaved and he was drummed out of tlie 



army. As was said before, flogging was not an unusual punish- 
ment. The Indians quite often were whipped or beaten for their 
offenses. One day an Indian stole a pair of pants from McCaw 
& Rogers' store. McCaw captured him and clipped off his long- 
hair, then kicked him the whole length of the store. But this 
was a matter which did not seem to arouse Indian resentment. 

Mrs. Howard Carr, who before her marriage was Jane 
Bradley, daughter of an early settler, tells how when they were 
living above Sumner in 1861, her father's saw was stolen, and he 
suspected Peshnekai, a Klickitat. He ordered him to return it 
within two days, which was done, but it again was stolen. It was 
returned on demand and when it was stolen the third time Brad- 
ley decided to whip the Indian. He procured the assistance of a 
neighbor, Mr. Lemmon, to carry out the chastisement. When 
the Indian came in with the saw Bradley tied him to a post and 
gave him several lashes, while Lemmon stood guard with a gun. 
Then Lemmon whipped him while Bradley held the gun. Three 
Indians who had come with Peshnekai stood by and saw the 
knout applied. All of them, however, often visited the Brad- 
leys after that and none of them was more friendly than Pesh- 
nekai himself. 

Peshnekai afterward fell beneath the spell of a missionary, 
possibly Father Weston, who also was a blacksmith, and he 
hammered his pulpit with no less muscular energy than he ham- 
mered his anvil. The Indian became very religious and when 
he fell ill he begged his white friends to let him lie in a white 
man's graveyard. His wish was fulfilled. He was placed in a 
little cemetery on the Woolery place. Some time afterward John 
Welch was employed to survey and fence the cemetery. His 
lines led him to the necessity either of building a fence directly 
across Peshnekai's grave or of moving the Indian's bones. He 
built the fence. Some of his acquaintances told him he surely 
would be pestered b}^ Peshnekai's ghost. One evening Welch, 
who was a bachelor and was living with the Gilkim family, had 
spent the evening with friends and was on his way home. He 
had just passed the graveyard when he heard a noise as of a 
mysterious something following him. He struck viciously be- 
hind and his cane seemed to fall upon a bag of bones. He seemed 


to hear the noise in front of him; he threshed about with his cane, 
each blow seeming to strike a skeleton. He ran, all the while 
fighting with his cane. He reached the Gillam house exhausted 
and fell on the porch breathless. Gillam went to the gate to 
reconnoiter. He found there Welch's cane and on the end of it 
still was fastened the remnants of a rattling pasteboard box. 

In 1858 Steilacoom had no physician. Doctor Tolmie at Fort 
Nisqually and Doctor Webber at Steilacoom were both so busy 
with mercantile affairs that they devoted no time to their pro- 
fession. Doctor Wirtz at Fort Steilacoom refused to practice 
among citizens. Hospital Steward Fitzgerald at the fort was 
advertising medicines for sale and sometimes was attempting a 
little surgery. Prosch's paper said when commenting on the need 
of a physician that "we have a population of over 800 souls 
exclusive of Indians." The cry had its effect. In September 
Dr. J. Ridgely came and opened a drug store. It is evident that 
modern ethics did not then prevail, for the good Doctor Ridgely 
brazenly offered for sale all of the patent medicines popular in 
that day. 

In July of '58 an Indian known as "Goliath" was murdered. 
His body was terribly mutilated. A soldier who had been seen 
with the Indian and who, when captured wore bloody clothing and 
had in his pocket several coins which friends of the dead identi- 
fied was arrested and taken to Olympia for trial. The testimony 
was circumstantial. Indian testimony was not taken. It seldom 
was. The soldier went free, but the Indians were so dissatisfied 
with the verdict and presented the matter to the soldiers at Fort 
Steilacoom with such disagreeable persistence that they raised 
and gave to the Indians $100 "to pay for their murdered 

In August, 1858, Martin Schmieg cleared the ground for the 
erection of a brewery — the first in the territory, and an event 
which, one may judge from the complimentary comment of the 
time, was accepted by the people of Steilacoom as an unusual 
recognition of the community's growing importance. Steilacoom 
and the Northwest had, up to that point, successfully weathered 
the growing pains of infanthood without the comforting cheer of 
lager beer. Schmieg's brewery was the first in the State of Wash- 


ington and its amber product found a wide market. Some of the 
old residents who remember the introduction of this beverage 
are authority for the statement that there was a decrease in the 
amount of "hard licker" consumed, and less serious drunkenness 
as a result. Schmieg prospered and accumulated enough capital 
to warrant removal to a larger field, and he accordingly went to 
Seattle and built a plant. He sold his Steilacoom concern to 
John Locke, a tight-fisted man who seldom smiled and who had 
the reputation of miserliness. Several attempts were made to 
rob him and on one occasion he was reft of a tin kettle containing 
about $600 in silver coin. Early in 1860 Joseph Butterfield, who 
had been employed by Schmieg, built a second brewer}^ in Steil- 
acoom, and later built another at Mukilteo which at that time 
seemed to give promise of becoming a metropolis. Butterfield 
did not make a great success in the business. 

A few years after removing to Seattle Schmeig went to Ger- 
many, supposedly on a visit, but his employes and friends lost 
all trace of him. After several months August Mehlhorn, one 
of his employes, brought suit to recover his salary, and judgment 
was rendered against the brewery. Sheriff" INIcGraw advertised 
the property for sale on two or three occasions, and each time 
Mehlhorn was the only person present at the hour for the sale, 
and finally JNIcGraw practically compelled Mehlhorn to bid it in. 
Mehlhorn was chagrined and disgusted. He wanted cash — not 
a piece of Seattle real estate 120 feet square at First Avenue and 
Marion Street, with a brewery building on it. He tried again and 
again to sell it, offering it for a song, but nobody was willing 
even to sing and Mehlhorn's grouchiness over the matter became 
historic in Seattle. In after years Mehlhorn sold 80 feet for 
$40,000, and later he and another man erected a substantial 
block on the remainder. 

Thomas Chambers continued a prominent figure in the com- 
munity affairs as mill owner and landed proprietor. His flour 
mill, which for manv years served a wide territory, was a three- 
story structure, and it is well described in an advertisement which 
appeared many years later in the Steilacoom Express. This 
notice, printed March 6, 1873, read: 


"Steilacooni Bay Mill 
"The o-rist mill of T. ^1. Chambers located about a half mile 
from Steilacooni, on one of the many romantic nooks of this 
beautiful bay, is one of the most substantial and best fitted out 
with all the latest improved machinery. The mill is three stories 
high, in good running order, has a drive wheel thirty-two feet in 
diameter, a capacity of ten bushels per hour, and abundance of 
water the year romid. Vessels can come close into the mill to load 
or unload. The quality of flour turned out by this mill is univer- 
sally acknowledged to be of the very best and is sold at $5.50 per 
barrel. On this whole inland sea of the grand northwest there 
is not to be found a more desirable place for a drydock ; nor any- 
where else a better site for a sawmill, than here. Persons desir- 
ing to invest and make money have here a rare opportunity. Mr. 
Chambers offers to rent his mill to a practical miller or run it in 
partnership against capital and divide the profits. A circular 
saw could be put in successful operation, could be run by the same 
power and profitably emjDloyed. The site for a steam sawmill 
can be bought at reasonable rates and capital laid up for dry- 
dock purposes can here be invested with advantage. Men com- 
ing to the Sound with money to invest, or desiring to go into 
business, never had better chance than is here presented." 

There still remain in the deep valley of Chamber's creek, some 
distance from high tide a few of the timbers of the old woolen 
mill — fragmentary monuments of a folly that cost many of the 
farmers dearly. Its promoter came into the country professing 
to have expert knowledge of woolen fabricating, and he per- 
suaded the farmers and many of the business men to join him in 
a stock company, the aim of which was to turn the fleeces of the 
considerable herds on the Nisqually plains into a finished product. 
A building, 60x80 feet, and six stories in height, was built in the 
creek canj^on in 1869. Expensive machinery was brought. Water 
was to be the motive power. But the w^heels never turned. The 
machinery was removed to Dayton. The building crumbled 
away. It is the opinion of the old settlers who remember the 
ambitious adventure that the promoter entirely overlooked the 
question of transportation until he had the mill ready for opera- 


Among the interesting advertisements appearing in Prosch's 
paj^er in October, 1858, was an announcement by Marion F. 
Guess that he had brick for sale. He was the first man in the 
territory to burn a kiln of bricks, and he found it unprofitable. 
Peter Judson likewise tried it but with indifferent success. Fir 
was much cheaper than brick and besides the sentiment of endur- 
ing construction had not yet imbued the young northwest. In 
1859 McCaw and Rogers erected the first brick building in the 
territory, at Steilacoom, and the next brick structure was the jail 
there, which still stands, but which, for safety's sake, had to be 
lined with fir not long after it was completed, though it had 
16-inch walls. 

In the fall of 18.58 a little boy, the son of Mrs. George N. 
McConaha, then living at the Judge Chambers home was thrown 
by a horse, dragged for some distance and terribly cut and 
bruised. A few days after that Mrs. McConaha herself narrowly 
escaj^ed death when the INIartin home in Steilacoom where she was 
visiting, burned in the night. Some months before this her little 
daughter had been burned to death. These misfortunes 
emphasized the tragic death of her husband in 1854. McConaha 
was on his way to take a boat for Seattle where he lived, when 
some of his fellow members of the legislature in Olympia pursued 
him and literally carried him back to "headquarters." He had 
been a drinking man but with manly resolution he had defeated 
the habit. It was the custom in the course of legislative assemblies 
in those days to hold frequent drinking bouts and on occasions 
even total abstainers were compelled to drink. McConaha was 
the victim of one of these exhilarating companies. The next day 
his canoe was upset off Brown's point and he and his two Indian 
paddlers were drowned, having been caught in a storiii which 
they might have missed had McConaha been permitted to leave 
Olympia at the hour he intended. 

Fate dealt harshly with Mrs. McConaha. By washing and 
sewing she managed to keep her family together and to retain 
two lots now occupied by the Alaska Block in Seattle, and which 
they sold, after years of struggle for $20,000 — a record price for 
the period. She had married Lewis V. Wychoff who in 1882 
was sheriff of King County. At the time of the vigilance com- 


mittee operations he did the best he knew to protect his prison- 
ers, and the. strain and excitement' killed him. The son never 
recovered from the in jinxes received in the runaway and, though 
he made a brilliant beginning in the practice of law, his mind 
failed and he died about a dozen years ago. 

The legislature of 1853-4 had given Steilacoom the right to 
incorporate whenever the citizens chose. In the summer of 1858 
some of the citizens began a campaign for incorporation declaring 
that local self-government was imperative in order to suppress 
the rowdy element. As if to help the movement along a man 
was robbed a day or so after that of more than $200 in the "Den 
of Thieves," a place kept by one Jerry Dennis, who, not content 
with one tactical error in his battle with the moral element per- 
mitted his resort to be the scene of a shameless and bloody brawl 
within the same week. A meeting was held in Musical Hall Aug- 
ust 17 to discuss incorporation, and, the crowd favoring, an elec- 
tion was called at the home of E. A. Light August 21. But for 
some reason the election was not held and the question of 
incorporation was dropped. 

Rpcv. George W. Sloan was conducting the public school that 
year, and the following year he was preparing to open an 
academy. In '59 Miss A. Veeder, of Port Townsend, was "in 
charge of the female department" of the school and she adver- 
tised that she would receive any kind of vegetables in exchange 
for board. 

James P. Stewart was teaching the boys, and he tried 
the experiment of opening a night school. Rev. Mr. Sloan's con- 
gregation decided to build a $2,000 Presbyterian Church, and 
the minister left for San Francisco to buy a bell and a melodeon. 
The community already had had some trouble with a chui'ch bell. 
When Balch & Webber's new brig W. D. Rice made her first 
trip to Steilacoom September 14, 1858, she brought for the 
DeVore church a 480-pound bell, the price of which was $355. 
Six months later the bell was not yet paid for and the church 
people were warned that it would be returned to San Francisco 
on the next ship unless the bill was settled. The bill was paid, the 
bell was saved and it now adds historic interest to the monument 
standing where the old church formerly stood. 


An event of 1859 was the burning of the county auditor's 
office with its store of valuable records, April 5. The origin of the 
fire was a mystery. About a year before, the building had been 
slightly damaged by fire late at 'night. E. R. Rogers and 
George Gallagher saved it from destruction. The second fire 
aroused much criticism of the auditor, Henrv E. Bradlev who 
was charged with neglect in not housing the public records in a 
safer place, and he was sharply attacked for other reasons. He 
retorted through the paper with considerable feeling. Then a 
mass meeting was called to discuss the formation of a volunteer 
fire department, interest in which receded as excitement over the 
fire diminished. The attack on Bradlev likewise seems to have 
been dropped. It was said that the office had been robbed of 
$400 and then set on fire. Bradley and a friend lodged in the 
building and they lost all of their personal belongings. 

About this time the government let a contract to Philip Keach 
to cut a trail from Steilacoom to Bellingham Bay at a cost of $93 
a mile, and Robert Goodburn did tlie work under Reach's direc- 
tion. This man Goodburn was a carpenter, miner and adven- 
turer. Two vears after this he, Lvman Bonnev and others 
organized to cross the Naches pass and undertake mining on 
the Wenatchee. Reaching about the summit of the divide they 
returned their horses to Steilacoom and proceeded on foot. The 
rivers were so high they could not ford them and rafts had to be 
built. This work delayed them until their provisions ran alarm- 
ingly low, when they decided to strike for Wallula. They lost 
their way in the woods and for five days, practically without food 
thev wandered, finallv meeting a band of Indians at John Day 
Rapids who provided them with dried salmon and saved their lives. 

There were now some 3,000 men in the territory, 2,000 of 
them unmarried, and the Puget Sound Herald was proclaiming 
the fact to the four winds and appealing to women Avithin sound 
of its voice to come to Puget Sound and particularly to Steila- 
coom where the need seems to have been particularly urgent. 
Later on the bachelors organized and held several meetings to 
discuss Avays and means of procuring the aifectionate interests 
of eastern maids. Editor Prosch continued to hammer away on 
the subject, but no definite results came of it until Asa S. 


Mercer, president of the territorial university, undertook to bring 
from the eastern states two cargoes of femininity. There are 
still living a few of the "Mercer brides." 

A traoedv that excited Steilacoom and aroused throughout 
the northwest fear of another Indian uprising was the capture of 
the schooner Blue Wing, en route from Steilacoom to Port 
Townsend. Six persons were on board this vessel and all were 
murdered. At about the same time the buildings of a settler on 
McXeil's island were burned by Indian marauders, recalling the 
war period, when Leschi and other braves invaded this island, 
and took John Swan captive. The marauders were, liowever, not 
of the Xisqually nor Puyallup tribes, but came down from the 
North. The settlers were still bitter toward the Indians, and now 
and then the cry would be raised to drive them all out of the 
settlements. Some of the towns on the Sound did this, ousting 
the red men as summarily as the Chinese were ousted several years 
afterward. The tragedies of the Indian war had been kept fresh 
in the public mind, first by the long-delayed execution of Leschi, 
and afterward by the capture of Kitsap wiio, liowever, was 
acquitted, and later by the capture of Yelm Jim, who was con- 
victed of the murder of William Nathan White. Yelm Jim was 
not punished, as two Indians came in and confessed that it was 
they who had killed White. Kitsap afterward was killed by his 
own people. East of the mountains Kitsap was known as 

It was in 1859 that the first notable Fourth of July celebra- 
tion since the settling of the territory began was held at Fort 
Steilacoom, and these were fitting times for a show of patriotism, 
as the San Juan dispute was approaching its climax. The North- 
west was thrilled and the country at large shocked when General 
Harney a short time later seized the island and armed antagonis- 
tic forces were in battle array there. A serious clash was pre- 
vented only by the employment of a timely and sensible finesse. 
July 4, 18.59, the United States ship Massachusetts brought to 
Steilacoom General Harney and his staff, and they landed at 
10 o'clock with martial ceremonies and went to the fort accom- 
panied by many citizens. At 12 the booming of thirty-three 
guns thundered across the plains and the troops were paraded l>y 


Colonel Casey. That afternoon the people of Steilacoom held 
suitable exercises in the DeVore Church, the Library Associa- 
tion being in charge of them. Frank S. Balch read the Declara- 
tion of Independence and Rev. George W. Sloan was the orator 
of the day. 

The year afterward (1860) there was a still more elaborate 
celebration, a part of the exercises being the laying of the corner 
stone of the Masonic Hall, a building that has contributed richly 
to the history of this section. Another feature of the daj^ was a 
barbecue among the trees just west of where the State Hospital 
now stands. Among those who participated prominently in that 
day's events were Major Hugh A. Goldsborough, Hon. Elwood 
Evans, Frank Clark, Colonel Casey, Rev. Daniel Kendig, chap- 
lain at the fort. Major Haller and Dr. J. B. Webber, grand 
marshal. Doctor Webber was a resident of Steilacoom for many 
years and endeared himself to its citizens by his genial kindnesses. 









One of the characters most interesting to Steilacoom was 
"Captain" Daniel Collins, who came to the fort as a tailor for the 
soldiery, and who, after his term of enlistment expired, opened a 
shop in Steilacoom. He was a fine old Irish gentleman and a 
conspicuous judge of Maryland brandy. He could neither read 
nor write but he served as coroner for many years. On special 
occasions and especially when inspired by a cup or two, he was 
wont to don silk hat, swallow-tail coat and low vest, all with the 
gorgeous buttons of that early day, and go on parade. It is said 
the small boys used to tie bones and sticks to his coat-tails. He 
buried the bones in his garden, realizing their enriching value, 
and this gave rise to the belief that he had large sums of money 
buried about. Years afterward when E. R. Ro])erts was gar- 
dening the same plot he often was asked if he had found the 
"cajDtain's" hidden coin. 

In his official capacity Collins had Henry Bradley as his clerk. 
Bradley loved his joke and even his employer was fair game. 
One day Bradley reported the mysterious death of an Indian girl 
at Thomas Chambers' place, near the mouth of Chambers Creek, 
and "Captain" Collins, witli becoming dignity, empanelled a 
jury of six, one of whom was Stephen Judson, and led the 



way along the beach to the creek and to the Chambers home. 
Mrs. Chambers, gracious and hospitable, had had no intimation 
of a visit from eight men but she set out cider for them and it was 
sharp enough. All got into good spirits, Collins especially, and 
he kept repeating: "An' I'm a sayin' where's the corpse?" He 
was very angry when told the truth. Collins was particular to 
attend all funerals, and he always w^ore his great dress suit. He 
is said to have been the only person w^ho went to the funeral of 
Bates, the man who was hanged by a mob for shooting Andrew 

"Capt." Collins also was the proprietor of the "Russian 
Chemical Steam Baths" in the late '50s, and he advertised them 
extensively as a "quick, certain and permanent cure for rheuma- 
tism, parah'sis, typhus and typhoid fevers, jaundice * * * 
stiff joints, etc., this proving the iniquity of medical prac- 
tice. Also poison from oaks cured. Baths! by which the most 
wonderful and quickest cures are effected without a particle of 
nasty and poisonous medicine of any kind, and he makes very 
moderate charges, though he does not attempt to swindle any man 
into the idea that he does it all without pay!" 

Just how elaborate Daniel's plant was is somewhat uncertain, 
though as Stephen Judson remembers it, Collins had but one tub 
and no plumbing. Water had to be dipped from a boiler into the 
tub. The impression is that Daniel, though professing scorn of 
medical practitioners himself resorted to fancy in advertising his 
baths. His spa probably owed its success to a drug which he 
introduced to the bath tub with an aroma that pleased the loggers 
who desired ablution. Collins bought considerable space in the 
Steilacoom paper month after montli to spread the fame of his 
institution. He invited the ladies to "come with each other" and 
have the pink of youth renewed on their cheeks by the miracle 
of his wonderful water. 

E. A. Light was postmaster. He also conducted a hotel 
called the "Light house." When he built his residence in Steila- 
coom in 18.54 it was the largest dwelling house in the territory. 
He, with his wife and infant son, had crossed the plains in '53. 
He was one of the owners of the old Byrd gristmill at what is 
now Custer, his partners being Andrew and Preston Byrd. 


Afterward he became United States coniiiiissioner, county sur- 
veyor, justice of the peace and county superintendent of schools 
and it is said that he never asked a man to vote for him. 

Later Steilacoom was given its full share of hotels, three being 
opened in 1859. There were some rather queer combinations. 
J. J. and J. L. Westbrook oj)ened a billiard saloon and livery 
barn combined, while the combination of J. F. Saunders was a 
restaurant and shoe store. E. A. Light opened a book and 
stationerv establishment, and two stove and tinware stores were 
opened the same week, one by George Gallagher and the other by 
Rabbeson & Barnes. 

Steilacoom was looking forward with confident expectancy 
to the coming of the transcontinental railroad, and was enjoying 
great prosperity. In her rough streets, in wiiich the stumps still 
stood in numbers, and about her stores in those days were Kautz, 
Casey, Hunt, Picket, Buford, Howard, Reno and other officers, 
some of whom within a few years w^ere to be elevated by the great 
Civil war to the very pinnacle of military glory. 

An event that cast the community into sorrow was the sink- 
ing of the Northerner off Cape Mendocino January 5, 1860, two 
well known Steilacoom men, Oliver P. Meeker and Horace C. 
Perkins, being among the drowned. The business men of this 
section had to make rather frequent trips to San Francisco, and 
it was hazardous traveling. The vessels were not large and too 
often they were overcrowded. Not infrequently the sailing ves- 
sels beat about for davs before beino: able to enter the straits 
and their passengers suffered terribly. Means of communication 
were seriously slow, even among the villages on the Sound, 
though they had improved over the conditions in 18o3 W'hen 
Moxlie in a canoe carried letters and papers between Olympia, 
Steilacoom and Seattle for twenty-five cents each. Philip Keach 
had his trials with the business later on when he, as bondsman for 
George Parkinson, had to take over the mail contract, Parkinson 
having sold his steamer Enterprise and left the country. Keach 
performed the service w^th the sloop Narcissa which sometimes 
arrived on time and oftener it did not. 

Traveling in the '.)0s w\is costly. The fare by sailing vessel 
to San Francisco w-as $25. The fare by steamer from San Fran- 


cisco to Olympia thus was distributed: From San Francisco to 
Portland, $36; from Portland to Monticello by steamer, $1.50; 
by stage from Monticello to Olympia, $8; total, $45.50. It was 
$15.50 cheaper in the steerage. The time was six days. 

An aid to communication was added when a regular stage line 
between Steilacoom and the Cowlitz landing was opened Feb- 
ruary 2, 1860, by Henry Winsor and J. D. Laman. This journey 
has been called "the worst in the world." The trail through the 
timber was just wide enough for the hubs to skin j^ast the trees. 
Great roots were hid in the morass that was called a road. In 
slime belly deep, the wear}^ horses dragged the careening vehicle 
through the gloom of the forest. A journey of a few miles 
exercised every muscle in the human body, and its jolts were 
known to have sprained seriously several backs and necks. 

In the early '60s the officers at Fort Steilacoom had a Chinese 
cook who sometimes visited Steilacoom town, and j^aid his genial 
respects to the Indian shacks along the waterfront. One night 
he was murdered, about where the new Northern Pacific station 
now stands, and robbed of about $50. A fourteen-year-old 
Indian girl revealed the murderer to the vigilance committee, and 
he was taken promptly to a carpenter shop for trial. Doctor Web- 
ber presiding, before a jury chosen on the si)ot. Stephen Judson 
was the interpreter. He asked the Indian if he had killed the 
man and why. Tlie Indian admitted the crime and said he 
wanted the Chinaman's money. The hearing lasted only a few 
minutes and a verdict of death was returned by the jury without 
the formality of leaving the shop. It was decided to have an- 
other Chinaman, a friend of the dead man, as executioner, a com- 
mission which he accepted with smiling felicity. A long, heavy 
plank was run out over the bluff just back of the old Masonic 
hall. The land end was well weighted down with a log, and a few 
of the vigilantes stood upon it for its additional security. The 
wretched Indian stood on the outer end of the plank, rope about 
his neck, and the other end tied to the plank at his feet. When 
all was ready Doctor Webber said: "Now, boys, it's all under- 
stood that we have nothing to do with this — the Chinaman is 
doing it all." 

The sign was given and the Chinaman pushed the murderer 





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from the plank. JNIany Indians saw the execution from their 
shacks along the beach. The community regarded it as a much- 
needed lesson for them. 

Shortly after this Stephen Judson, then scarcely more than 
a youth, was elected sheriff, and began an interesting political 
career. He was sheriff for seven years, was in the territorial 
legislature four terms and in the state legislature for two terms, 
was elected county treasurer in 1896 and served two terms, was 
a trustee of the State Hospital for the Insane several years, and 
for near!}" fifty years served as a democratic wheelhorse in county 
and state jDolitics. No convention large or small was complete 
without "Steve" Judson. 

The brick jail at Steilacoom, then the best in the territory, 
was the catch-all for the worst of the Northwest's criminals and 
many a notorious thug passed through Judson's hands between 
'62 and '68. A few months after he took office, the vigilantes 
again assumed authority. A young man named Bates, supposed 
to be partly insane, shot and fatally wounded Andrew Byrd, a 
citizen of prominence and wide pojJularity. Bates imagined that 
Byrd had stolen his cow, and he seems to have had the same 
foolish suspicion of Doctor Spinning, a man of the highest char- 
acter, as he said that he would have been satisfied had he been 
able to shoot S2:)inning also. Byrd died in about twenty-four 

Immediately a mob gathered and marched to the jail. Sher- 
iff Judson was seized and removed to McCaw & Rogers' store, 
where he was kept under guard. Judson, however, had blocked 
the front door of the jail which, for safety's sake he had lined with 
boiler iron a short time before. The heavy door, five inches thick, 
was of oak. The mob assaulted it again and again witli a long 
battering ram, but it refused to give. The assailants finally aban- 
doned the ram and tore the brick wall from about the door casing. 
The murderer was dragged from his cell, and taken to an old 
barn that stood in block 28. The thirty-foot ram was hoisted 
to the loft, witli the end protruding and from tliis tlie weak- 
minded Bates was hanged in his irons. No attempt was made 
to punish the members of the mob. In after years William D. 
Vaughn said he was the leader of the vigilantes on this occasion. 


One of Byrd's enemies had told Bates that Byrd was the thief. 
The next morning Bates fomid the cow's head on his gate post. 
This inflamed him, and he started out on murder bent. It is now 
even better known than it then was that Byrd had nothing what- 
ever to do with the theft. He and Bates were the victims of a 
deliberate lie, maliciously told. 

The brick in the jail were made by Peter Judson, father of 
Stephen, and Stephen himself had hauled the last of them to the 
building. They were as good as could be made from the material 
at hand, but they were not good enough to withstand a mob. 
Accordingly Stephen lined the inner walls with fir planks two 
inches thick and twelve inches wide. These were laid flat, one 
upon another, spiked and cross spiked so that a saw could not 
penetrate. Thus the building was given an inner timber wall a 
foot in thickness. The spikes cost more than the lumber. He 
also planked the floor with 2x12 timbers set on edge, built a 
stockade of heavy ten-foot planks around the building and in 
other ways made defense against another mob. 

Sheriff Judson, though small of stature, was strong and 
possessed of iron nerve. On one occasion every prisoner in the 
jail broke out except one, Johnny Devine, who wore a ball and 
chain, and who liad been locked in the jail kitchen by the departing 
prisoners. Johnny, in revenge, hastened to notify Judson. 
Armed with nothing but a small iron ruler Judson went into the 
woods alone looking for the missing men, many of whom were 
unusually dangerous men. After several hours of search he 
caught them all, and while several had threatened him, none had 
attacked him. The jail, in those days, had six or eight steel- 
barred cells built up in the center of the building, and into these 
the miscreants were clapped to do penance. ' 

A few insane prisoners were kept in the jail though most of 
them were sent to the Sisters of Charity in Vancouver. The 
Sisters had a contract with the state to care for the insane and 
they cared for them well for a number of years. A curious rule 
of the jails in those days was that prisoners should have no 
tobacco, coffee or tea. That was the territorial law. 

In 1868, in the little Catholic Church which had been hauled 
piecemeal from Fort Steilacoom, and set up in the town, Stephen 


The "L" was built by Mother Joseph 

Built in 1853. First Protestant church north of the Columbia River 

Built in the TjOs, and later lined with fir to keep mobs out 




Judsoii married Miss Mary W. Gallagher, a daughter of George 
Gallagher, who first came to the Northwest around the Horn, and 
later brought his family across the Isthmus. Mary, then a small 
child, was carried over the mountain trails of the Isthmus on the 
back of an Indian. The family reached Olympia in 1852. 
Stephen met jNIary when she was nine years of age, and the court- 
ship began then and there. 

In the early '60s the Catholics procured about 214 blocks of 
land in Steilacoom, and proceeded to the construction of a con- 
vent, which was successfully conducted for about fifteen years. 
They believed Steilacoom probably would be the great commer- 
cial center of the Northwest. The convent, a frame building that 
stood near where the present Catholic Clmrch is, drew pupils, 
manv of them non-Catholic, from all over the Northwest and 
from California and had a considerable reputation in its day, on 
account of the excellence of its instruction in music and domestic 
science. It was a two-story building about 24 by 32 feet in its 
ground dimensions. Later on an "L" was added, and the super- 
visor of this work was Mother Joseph, who came from Vancouver 
for the purpose. She handled tools with the skill of any man, 
climbed a ladder or w^alked the comb of a roof. She was archi- 
tect, contractor and carpenter, and a forceful manager of 
workmen. After she was seventy-five years of age she still was 
active. She drew the plans for the Sister's Convent in Van- 
couver, a large and costly building, and she died there about ten 
years ago. She was known wideh^ all over the Northwest. On 
one occasion a farmer far up the Columbia river put a cow on a 
steamer, with a card on her horn bearing the name, "Mothei* 
Joseph," but with no further address. The animal in due time 
reached the nun in Vancouver. 

The Catholic sisters are said to have brought to this countiy 
the seeds of the Scotch broom which has spread widely and which 
each spring covers the hills back of Steilacoom with a glory of 
yellow bloom. 

One of the most dangerous men in this section and the wealth- 
iest resident of the county was Charley Wren, the Muck half- 
breed. He furnished the money with which to build the Masonic 
hall in Steilacoom, a prominent structure in its day, and he had 


much money out at interest. He was himself a JNlason, but the 
excellent precepts of that order faded away if there was a calf to 
be stolen or a neighbor's cow to be killed and skinned without 
the neighbor's knowledge or consent. He was an expert in the 
use of the lariat and a dead shot. 

Charles JNIcDaniel was as bad as AVren. He was a gambler 
and thief. He lived near Wren. Their criminal adventures 
were often directed against each other. On one occasion ^NIcDan- 
iel was brought into court for striking a man over the head w^ith 
a gun. As it had often happened before, the jury was afraid to 
convict liim. But upon hearing the verdict of acquittal, Samuel 
McCaw, the justice, shouted: "By God, that verdict's all wrong. 
I'll set it aside and fine j^ou and send you to jail." 

While as a matter of fact the justice was venturing far beyond 
the limits of his jurisdiction in uttering such a declaration, JNIc- 
Daniel didn't know it. Sheriff Stephen Judson was at his side 
ready to carry out the sentence, and McDaniel thereupon jjaid a 
fat fine. 

Wren was arrested several times but by bribery and threats 
he escaped punishment. On one occasion the branded hide of a 
calf he had stolen and killed was exhibited to the jury, but with 
no effect. A verdict of acquittal was rendered. 

Living near Wren and JNIcDaniel was Andrew J. Burge, a 
decent citizen, but hot-headed. He and JMcDaniel decided to 
punish Wren for stealing their cattle. They waylaid the half- 
breed, tied him to a tree, give him a terrible lashing, ordered him 
to leave the country, then left him suffering in his ropes. 

Later on a negro appeared in Steilacoom and spent most of his 
time hunting on the plains nearby. While Burge was driving 
home one day he was shot and badly injured. The negro disap- 
peared. It was established afterward that Wren had hired the 
negro to kill both INIcDaniel and Burge. Wren meantime had 
left the country never to return. INIcDaniel, Gibson and others 
jumped his claim, and the settlers determined to punisli them. 

A mob of thirty or forty men ambushed them in the narrow 
passage between Gravelly and Steilacoom lakes, seriously wound- 
ing Gibson. McDaniel ran toward Steilacoom, and the settlers 
with their wounded man lying in a wagon followed. In the edge 


Built the old jail at Steilacoom in 1858 


One of the early day ski])]iers much be- 
loved bv the children 




of the village Gibson raised himself and fired two shots at his 
tormenters, wounding two men. He was immediately shot 
through the head. McDaniel had taken refuge in a saloon, but 
presently he came out, armed only with a knife, having left his 
gun inside. The vigilantes had procured from Gibson enough to 
verify their worst suspicions and they were desirous of putting 
an end to JNIcDaniel. JNIcDaniel wanted to be heard. A man 
said to have been James Ross, shouted "Shoot him!" Several 
men discharged their weapons as the wretch turned and ran 
toward the wharf. He soon fell, fatally W'Ounded. The sheriff 
at that time was Isaac Carson and he had been locked up by the 
vigilantes to prevent his interference with their plans. INIcDaniel 
w^as left writhing where he fell. He died unattended, in about 
two hours. 

Seventeen alleged members of the mob w^ere indicted and only 
four of these were arrested. The case w^as pressed as vigorously 
as John Saltar, administrator of ^IcDaniel's estate could press it, 
but public sentiment was not with him. Attorney McNaught 
prosecuted with much vigor but the jury brought in a verdict of 
acquittal. McXaught asked one of the jurors how they reached 
such a verdict in the face of the testimony and the juror replied 
wuth a laugh: 

"You spun things pretty fine, but we spun them fine, too." 
John Saltar excited some rancor among the vigilantes and 
the settlers by j)lacing on jNIcDaniel's grave a stone carrying this 
legend : 

Chas. ^I. ]McDaxiel 

Born in Iowa, 1834, 

and died at the 


Jan. 22, 1870, 

Aged 36 years. 

This stone still may be seen in the little graveyard just back 
of the State Hospital. 

For many years Justice ]\IcCaw adjudicated Steilacoom's 
cases and he won a reputation for abundant horse sense, if not for 
an al)undance of legal knowledge. As his experience and fame 


grew he decided that his court should assume new dignities and 
among other reforms he announced that English and not Chi- 
nook should be the court language. Shortly afterward Attorney 
Frank Clark appeared before his honor and, as was the custom 
of the time, began employing more or less of the jargon. The 
face of Justice McCaw grew stern. Finally he broke in upon 
the lawj^er and said with severity : 

"JNIr. Clark, the court is educated and understands English. 
Co-pit your cultus wa-wal" 









In the spring of 18.57, at the close of the Indian war the 
DeLin family returned from Steilacoom to the future townsite 
of Tacoma. They found their property intact. It had not been 
disturbed during their long absence. The Indians, always in 
search of planking, scarcely had touched the piles of lumber about 
the little sawmill. DeLin soon put his rust}" plant in order and 
again began cutting logs. Swan & Riley returned to the Che- 
baulip neighborhood to renew their salmon operations. No other 
whites occupied the peninsula. 

In 1861, DeLin sold his mill and his claim of 318 acres 
to John L. Perkins, who was employed by the government on the 
reservation. Perkins was an interesting young fellow well liked 
among the whites. The fact that he played a violin increased his 
popularity. He paid $3,500 for DeLin's plant. The DeLin 
family then removed to Seattle. With them went DeLin's 
brother, Andrus. Both of them found employment on the state 
university buildings then under construction. In 1862 the De- 
Lins removed to Olympia, and three years later to Portland 
where INIr. DeLin died ^lay 15, 1882. Mrs. DeLin, a woman 
of fine poise and estimable character, still lives in Portland. 



Perkins found the mill anything but a joy and he soon sold 
it. JNIilas Galliher, twin brother of Silas, later acquired it. Both 
of these men were well known through the Northwest in those 
early times. Silas was a hotel keeper in Steilacoom and after- 
ward in Olympia where he opened the "Tacomah House." JNIilas 
became the owner of about eight hundred acres at the head of 
Commencement Bay. The Galliher name is now mistakenly pre- 
served in this community as "Gallagher." Some of the maps 
even have made the blunder, and the newspapers have been com- 
mitting it for years. 

The mill's foundations were weakening, and it began to cut 
lumber of curious designs. Sometimes the planks were thicker 
in the middle than at the ends; again the ends would be thicker 
than the middles. Various men tried their hand at curing its 
infirmities. Galliher gave it up, and Frank Spinning experi- 
mented briefly. Finally, in 1869, it was abandoned. It fell into 
the ownership of the Tacoma Land Company, which, in 1875, 
sold the rusty remnants to a man in the Puyallup Valley. 

The last cargo taken from the mill was shipped on the Hunts- 
ville, Capt. E. A. Nickels, in 1865. The lumber was rafted down 
the waterway to the foot of Seventh street to be loaded. Job 
Carr tallied for the mill and Captain Nickels for the ship. They 
were in a continuous squabble, Nickels refusing to accept about 
half of the lumber delivered to the ship. Finally, after much 
delay and controversy, in the course of which the Captain's exple- 
tives and the patience of Job were all but exhausted, the ship 
had 300,000 feet on board and sailed for lower Sound ports to 
complete her cargo. 

Job Carr had come across the plains to California in 1864, 
from Richmond, Indiana. He was a dark man of medium heights 
and a whig who did not drink, swear, smoke or chew, and whose 
fiercest expletive was, "I'll be consarned." He was born in Glou- 
cester countv, New Jersev, Julv 2, 1813. In voung manhood 
he removed to Indiana where he married Rebecca Rittman, 
and four cliildren were born. 

When the great Civil War began Job set aside his Quaker 
scruples against belligerency and went to the front with the 36th 
Indiana volunteers, and his wife went along as an army nurse. 

Marietta Can- 

Howard Carr 

Job Carr 

Antlioiiv Carr 





He was shot through tlie wrist at Corinth, and again was wounded 
in front of Atlanta. The second wound was serious and Mrs. 
Carr, hearing of his phght, went to him, removed him to their 
Indiana home and nursed him back to health. Though consider- 
ably past the age of military service he served about two years 
at the front. He was a bitter anti-slavery man. 

Mrs. Carr was a clairvoyant of considerable reputation. 
Clients came from a distance to consult her and rewarded her with 
handsome fees. She also was a woman's rights advocate, and 
some time before the war she and Job had "agreed to disagree," 
but purposed to live together until their children were grown. 
They abandoned their allegiance to the Quaker Church and be- 
came spiritualists, a belief to which both adhered thereafter. 

Job left Indiana for Iowa, in October, 1864, and there bought 
a nursery. He was something of an expert in apple-growing, and 
tree pruning. He sent for Rebecca but she refused to follow. 
Her son Anthony, then a Union soldier, gave her a house and lot 
in Richmond and there she lived for several years practicing her 
profession as a seeress. She procured a divorce and later married 
a man named Staley. 

She was a forceful woman of unusual intellectual strength 
and much determination. 

Job would not argue with Rebecca or anybody else. When 
confronted with a controversy he quietly would say : 

"Thee can have it thy own way." 

He soon sold the nursery and started west with his own team, 
intent upon finding, if he could, the western terminus of the 
North Pacific Railway, the charter for which President Lincoln 
had signed a short time before. He first came to Olympia but 
decided after looking that place over that the railroad would not 
stop there. He visited Steilacoom and Seattle, each of which was 
perfectly confident of being chosen as the terminus. Then he 
came to the Indian reservation on Commencement Bay and 
stayed at the home of A. Williamson Stewart. One night a 
letter came for him and INIrs. Stewart instructed her little 
daughter, Annie, to take it to his room and to carry a candle so 
that he could read it, he having retired early. He read the letter 
and burst into tears. The letter told him of his son Howard's 



capture and incarceration in Andersonville prison. Job thought 
he would die there, which in fact he ahiiost did. He was im- 
prisoned eight and one-half months and his weight was reduced 
from 150 to 92 pounds. 

Job sounded Commencement Bay and to some extent ex- 
amined the lay of the land on the Tacoma peninsula. His own 
account of how he found his homestead on the Old Tacoma water- 
front, written some years later, says : 

"On Christmas day, 1864, in company wdth ]Mr. (William) 
Billings, then farmer on the Indian reservation and now sheriff 
of Thurston County, and three or four others, I went over to Gig 
Harbor fishing, Mr. Billings telling me there were several nice 
places along the shore of the bay. As we went along in our canoe 
when we came opposite where Tacoma now stands, I raised on my 
feet' and exclaimed, 'Eureka! Eureka!' and told my companions 
there was my claim." 

In a few days he took possession. He and Milas Galliher 
were the onl}^ white men on the peninsula, JNIilas at "Ta-ha- 
do-wa" at the head of the bay, and Carr at "Chebaulip" at the 
foot of McCarver Street. There near the beach he began a log 
cabin, living meanwhile beneath a rough shelter of cedar bark 
piled against a big log, with his yellow cat, Tom, given to liim by 
Mrs. Stewart. Occasionally he returned to the Stewart home for 
substantial meals. 

Stewart had come to Chambers' prairie in 1852 and the next 
year he married Jerusha White. In the early '60s the family 
came to the Indian reservation where Stewart was wagon maker 
and carpenter in the employment of the government. Among 
the children was W. W. Stewart, now living in Tacoma. He 
was born in "Eaton's Fort," a stockade built a few miles from 
Olympia and in it the Stewart, McINIillan, Patterson, Connor 
and other families took refuge from the savages during the 
Indian War. Another of the children was Annie, now Mrs. Stol- 
tenberg, who as a babe in arms, narrowly escaped death from the 
Indians. William Nathan White, Mrs. White and Mrs. Stewart, 
sister-in-law of Mrs. White, were on their way from church in 
Olympia at about 5 o'clock Sunday, March 2, 1856. The women 
were in a light wagon. White led the horse. Suddenly two Indians 

■- ^^r 



First wife of Job Carr. Came to Tacoma about 1885. 
Served as a nurse in the Union army 


apjJeared in front of them as they were going up a hill. The 
Indians attacked White and a desperate fight took place. 

For a hinidred yards AVliite battled for his life, but he finally 
was struck down. The horse took fright at the opening of hostili- 
ties and ran away, carrying Mrs. Stewart and her baby, Annie, 
and JNIrs. White, to safety, though Mrs. Stewart's foot was badly 
mashed and cut when she was thrown between a wheel and the 
wagon bed. The women did not see White killed but they knew 
he would be. His body was recovered the next day. 

Job had not entirely completed his cabin when his son, 
Anthony, came in November, I860, and Anthony rived the shakes 
to finish the roof. Job's cabin looked out upon the bay from a 
point close to the beach between Carr and McCarver streets. It 
had a small porch. A year or so after it was built an ivy afi?'ec- 
tionately covered its chimney and a honeysuckle crept over the 
porch. The interior walls were covered with paper over cloth. 
At first the little house had two rooms — a living room in the east 
end with a comfortable fireplace; in the west end a bed room 
with two beds, sej^arated by a curtain — a custom of pioneer days. 
A low attic offered additional sleeping room on congested nights 
which were not infrequent in the Carr cabin. It housed a number 
of notables in its hevdev. The cooking was done over the fire- 
place, and before it Job spent many hours with his Bible. He was 
a constant reader of the Scripture and fairly knew it all, but he 
never argued it. He took it straight. 

Anthony had come west as a soldier and he was discharged at 
Fort Steilacoom. He had served through most of the Civil War. 
On the way West his troop had several brushes with the Indians 
and it saved one wagon train from probable destmction. 

On two occasions while in the Union army in Virginia, 
Anthony was sent to Washington with dispatches for President 
Lincoln, delivering them to him in person. Both of these journeys 
were made at great risk as the country was full of Confederate 
scouts and bushwhackers. He was at Chantilly when former 
Governor Stevens of Washington territory was struck, and 
Anthony saw him die. He fought in the last set battle of tlie 
Civil War, at Palmetto Ranch, Texas, a month after Lee had 
surrendered, and was captured there with filfty-seven others. 


His friend and the soldier fighting at his right, near by him, John 
J. Wilhams, Comi^any B, 34th Indiana, was fatally wounded and 
is believed to have been the last man killed in set battle in the 
great war. This was May 13, 1865. 

Anthony and his fellow prisoners were removed to the old 
slave pen at Brownsville, Texas, and imprisoned there for 38 
days. Technically Anthony Carr still is a prisoner of war, never 
having been paroled. 

When he reached Steilacoom his father was operating the 
Byrd grist mill at what is now called Custer. This was a water- 
power plant of small capacity. Job dressed the burrs of this mill 
when that attention was needed, and was called to Olympia and 
elsewhere to do similar work. While not a jack of all trades he 
seemed to know at least five well enough to make them fairly 
profitable and his versatility rewarded him with employment 
whenever he wanted it. He was a millwright, a machinist, a 
painter, a paper hanger, and a nurseryman. Tacoma as a town 
knew him later as a painter and a paperhanger, and he was a 
good one. He was employed on at least one occasion to go to 
Olym^^ia to do painting for Governor Moore. 

Anthony was a photographer. When he reached Steilacoom 
he learned that E. A. Light had just bought a photographic outfit 
and was trying to learn how to use it by studying the instruction 
books that accompanied it, but with negative success. He was 
glad enough to take Carr in, and a fairly good business was 
established. Anthony took a claim near his father's and built a 

Howard Carr had ser\^ed wdth the Nineteenth Massachusetts 
volunteers, enlisting in that state after he had been rejected in 
Indiana on account of his youth, under the name of "John 

Having recovered from the effects of his long incarceration 
in Confederate prisons, Howard started West August 10, 1865. 
In Utah his party was snowed in, and spent the winter there. 
Howard reached Steilacoom July 28, 1866. 

Howard kept a diary for many years, beginning it as a boy. 
It covers in a very brief way several matters of importance to the 
*!arly history of Tacoma. An entry of January 13, 1868, says the 


temperature was 4 degrees below zero and the Puyallup River 
was frozen over. Howard brought with him to Tacoma a dulcimer 
which both he and Job played with facility, and acquaintances 
from the reservation and elsewhere came over to enjoy instru- 
mental music of a variety very rare at that time. 

Howard remained long enough to choose a claim and begin a 
cabin. Then he retraced his steps to Indiana to get INIarietta, his 
sister. He returned with her November 19, 1867. Marietta's 
repute as a cook added to Job's popularity as a host. With game 
in abundance near by, fish to be had at their door, the rich soil 
of "Chebaulip" supplying them with garden foods, they did 
not have to make many trips to Steilacoom after provender. 
Both Anthony and Howard spent much of their time there, 
Anthony as a photographer and Howard as hotel-keeper. 
Anthony was an expert shingle-river, and if photograj^hy in 
Steilacoom w^as dull, he returned to his cabin at "Chebaulip" and 
turned cedar logs into money. He could rive 1,000 shingles a day 
and he received $1.50 a thousand. 

Marietta Carr married William ]Mahon in 18 — , and on 
November 4, 1875, while on the way to San Francisco to visit a 
sister, the steamer Pacific was sunk in a collision and she and her 
little boy were drowned. Geo. T. Vining, another early settler 
in Tacoma, also lost his life. The wreck occurred forty miles 
south of Cape Flattery. Onh^ two persons were saved. 

Job and his sons believed they had a place for a townsite. 
The railroad was coming. Where would it terminate? Job 
guessed on "Chebaulip." 

A man of larger experience than Job in business affairs then 
appeared in Morton Ma the w McCarver, tall, gray and partially 
deaf. He was 61 and was seeking pastures new. He was a rest- 
less and ambitious man who for many years had tried liis hand at 
town building. He squatted where Burlington, Iowa, is and made 
some monej^ there. He expected to join Peter Burnett in pro- 
moting the town of Sacramento for Sutter, but Burnett for some 
reason ignored him and INIcCarver missed a fine opportunity to 
gain riches. Then he and others had tried to put Linnton, Ore- 
gon, prominently on the map. That failed for good reasons, but 
not by lack of McCarver's industry. 


And now, though past the three-score milestone, he left his 
comfortable farm home near Oregon City and went to Port- 
land where he talked with friends about the probable northern 
terminus of the line which the railroad company was about to 
build from the Columbia River. He heard that Nicholas DeLin, 
then living in Portland, had spent some time on Commencement 
Bay. He called on DeLin who ureed with all his force the value 
of the place as a site for a city. DeLin told him how the land lay, 
of the park-like Xisqually plains near by, of the depth of the bay 
and of the flat stretches about the delta of the Puyallup River, 
which though inundated at high tide, could be filled at no great 
exj)ense. JNIcCarver heard and was deeply impressed, though he 
did not take DeLin's advice altogether. Had he done so he would 
have been saved much disappointment and money. JNIcCarver 
interviewed Lewis 31. Starr, president of tlie First National 
Bank, and its cashier, James Steele, who agreed to enter a part- 
nership with him in promoting a townsite. 

He left Portland on horseback about the first of April, 1868, 
and followed the heartbreaking trail from JNIonticello to Olympia 
where he stopped a day or so to examine maps in the United 
States land office where Joseph Cushman, father of W. H. Cush- 
man, for many years resident in Tacoma, was agent. W. H. 
Cushman, who died in Tacoma in 3Iay, 1916, remembered 
^IcCarver's visit to the land office. He recalled that he was par- 
tially deaf and quite talkative, and asked many questions. 

After procuring the data he came on to Commencement Baj^ 
and spent the first night with Thomas Elder, the government 
farmer on the reservation. The following day he employed an 
Indian to row liim about the bay. He made many soundings, 
going even as far as Quartermaster and Gig Harbors. He then 
visited Job Carr and told him he hoped to get a sawmill 
established at "Chebaulip" and he desired Job's 168-acre claim. 
A bargain was struck. Job agreeing to sell at $10 an acre, and he 
was to keep his house and five acres around it. Job was to receive 
$600 in cash and 100 acres of land which JNIcCarver owned in 
Oregon. Tliis land was priced in the deal at $1,000. Job after- 
ward sold it for $764. 

Carr's deed to McCarver is dated April 15, 1868, and it 

McCarver is called the ' ' Founder of Tacoma ' ' 


conveyed "lots 4, 5 and 6 and the southeast quarter of section 30, 
township 21, north of range 3 east, containing 168 and three- 
quarters acres excepting the dwelhng houses of the party of the 
first part and five acres of land, commencing at the center of the 
spring branch at the beach end of the house, to be as near a square 
as possible, the said sj^ring branch to be the Eastern boundary of 
said five acres leaving 163 and 75/100 acres to be conveyed — 

McCarver was born in Kentucky, near Lexington, January 
14, 1807, and his parents were Shakers. His mother was a promi- 
nent figure in this sect, and her views of life were trimmed to 
fit the narrow^est religious perspective — so narrow that the boy 
ran away from home, striking out at the age of 14 for worlds 
unknown. His wanderlust never entirely forsook him. As an 
impaid worker on a flatboat he sailed down the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi Rivers, the journey consuming weeks, and finally reached 
New Orleans w^iere he had difficulty in finding employment, and 
then only at the expense of his pride, as in those days the w^hite 
laborer in the South was classed with the blacks and even low^er. 
INIcCarver then acquired ideas about the negro that never left 
him. It burst forth in after years, perhaps somewhat to his 
injury, on the Pacific Coast. 

Dissatisfied with New Orleans he went into Texas and 
JNIexico, meeting even worse conditions, and then returned to 
Lexington. His son-in-law and biographer, Thomas Prosch, 
says of the boy's home-coming: 

"To his surprise he found that the liome of his mother was no 
longer his; that according to the hard rules of her church tliey 
were dead to each other on eartli. So strong of mind was she, so 
firm of faith, tliat she never saw him afterM'ard." 

He studied medicine for a while. Then the ^Vest called. He 
went to Illinois, and found employment in several towns, acquired 
some property and May 6, 1830, married ]Miss ]Mary Ann 
Jennings, of Monmouth. He was connected with tlie state troops 
in the Black Hawk war which came to an end in 1832. A treaty 
was made with Chief Keokuk covering valuable lands in Iowa, 
just west of the INIississippi River. Some of the settlers, among 
them McCarver, undertook to squat on these lands before the time 

Vol. I— T 


appointed and were driven out by Lieut. Jefferson Davis and his 
soldiery, when a second siezure was attempted. Lieutenant Gard- 
ner and a force ousted the land-hungry intruders and burned 
their cabins and many of their belongings. 

jMcCarver and others then built a ferrv, lookin"- forward to 
the date of the land-opening and the probable heavy business of 
transporting across the great river the scores of persons who 
hoped to gain valuable lands under the "Black Hawk purchase." 
McCarver was one of the number who, on the day appointed by 
the government for the crossing, took up claims on the site of 
what afterward became Burlington. The first three settlers were 
S. S. White, Amzi Doolittle and ^NlcCarver, and they laid off a 
few lots. A disagreement arose among them and ]McCarver 
sold out to White. JMcCarver then returned to Monmouth 
where he remained for two years. But it appears that none of 
them had any rights on the land and in 1836 the government took 
it all over and directed the land to be surveyed and platted, the 
survey to follow as closely as possible the sun^ey made by the 
squatters, and the lots then were sold at the land sales. The 
government however recognized the titles which tlie squatters had 
attempted to convey. 

JMcCarver in 1 839 was made commissary general of the Iowa 
military forces and in after years he held the same position in 
Oregon. Thus he gained the military title by whicli he was 
known the remainder of his life. He engaged for a while in a 
mercantile venture and speculated in lands, etc., but not to his 
profit. In after years he paid about $10,000 to liquidate the foot- 
ings of his over-daring financial ventures. He disliked life in a 
store, became discouraged by his money losses and, like many 
others, felt the pinch of several unusually cold winters. Besides, 
it was about time for JNIcCarver to move on, and the next step was 
the farthest step. 

In June, 1843, he was one of a party of 900 who started over- 
land for Oregon. Tliey had not far from .5,000 head of cattle, 
horses and mules, and no sooner was the great cavalcade under 
way than quarreling arose over the animals. The grazing and 
watering problem became acute, and besides the dust stirred by 
the lieels of the herds became an aggravating and dangerous 


nuisance. McCarver was one of the council of nine appointed 
before the expedition started, to advise with the leader, Peter 
H. Burnett, who afterward became the first governor of Oregon. 
The orderly sergeant was James W. Xesmith, destined to be 
senator from Oregon. These leaders had a troublesome expe- 
rience with the cattle quarrel which finally resulted in the resigna- 
tion of Burnett, and a new^ election. McCarver was the candidate 
of the cattle party but was defeated, and later he went forward 
with the opposition, it being able to travel more rapidly. One 
of the wagons gave the travelers much trouble. It was known 
as "Xoah's Ark." Finallv the animals drawing this cumber- 
some vehicle fell exhausted and the company's managers decided 
to discover the real difficulty. They found the wagon laden with 
soft soap ^\'hich the owner was carrying 2,000 miles across the 
continent against a day of need in the laundry. 

From Fort Hall westward the famous Dr. Marcus Whit- 
man was guide for the train. JNIcCarver and others hastened 
ahead on horses and reached the Willamette Valley several weeks 
in advance of tlie wagons, bent on finding a suitable place for a 
townsite. They w^ere hospitably entertained at the Hudson's Bay 
Company post at Vancouver and the good Doctor ^IcLoughlin's 
advice was sought w'ith regard to a j^robable townsite. He 
advised them to go about ten miles up the Willamette, which they 
did and established Linnton where they soon began selling lots 
rapidly at $.50 each. But Linnton languished. Its progenitors 
attributed the failure of the town to a scarcity of nails. Settlers 
were arriving in such numbers, and all of them erecting houses or 
shelters, that the supply of nails was completely exhausted. 

In 184.) jNIrs. IMcCarver and her five children started West, 
and her wagon was driven by Dolph B. Hannah, afterward a 
prominent figure in Tacoma affairs. IMcCarver, who was elected 
to the Oregon Legislature in 1844, had expected his family in that 
year and had gone up the Columbia to meet them. To his sorrow^ 
he there learned that they would not reach him for another year. 
He took up a claim and began improving it. When the Legisla- 
ture met in Oregon City IMcCarver was made speaker. There 
were in all eight members of this body and one of the first acts 
was to adopt a stringent anti-liquor law. It forbade the nianu- 


facture or sale of intoxicants. It was the first prohibition law 
in the United States. It was drafted by Peter H. Burnett. At 
the second session of the assembly McCarver again was speaker 
and, as in the first session, stood for the prohibition law, and in 
fact was one of the six men who saved the law from repeal. 

In the first session McCarver's abhorrence of a mixed white- 
and-black population, which had disgusted him when as a boy he 
was in the South, came to the surface when a bill, fathered by 
Burnett, was introduced which not only forbade slavery, but 
which denied to negroes or mulattoes the right of permanent resi- 
dence in the territory. Those then there were required, under 
the provisions of the bill, to leave, the men in two years and the 
women in three, with the promise of the lash if they disobeyed. 
In the discussion of the measure this harsh provision was some- 
what modified, but it still had the malodorous taint of slavery in 
it, for it provided that the disobedient black should be hired out 
to the white who for the shortest term of service would remove the 
malefactor from the country. 

Whatever good this measure may have accomplished it struck 
a cruel blow at one of the best citizens the territory had then or 
ever has had. This was George W. Bush, a mulatto of fine 
character. His Mdfe was a Avhite woman. He had come West 
over the plains with about $3,000, the most of which he brought 
in small silver coin securely hid in the double floor of his wagon 
bed. Not desiring to inflict his presence upon the settlements, he 
remained north of the Columbia River, and in 184.) he came to 
Tumwater with INIichael T. Simmons and others to build the first 
settlement on the Sound. Simmons and Busli were financially 
interested together and remained close friends for man}" years. 
It is not at all improbable that some of Bush's money was 
employed in financing the DeLin mill on the Tacoma peninsula. 

Bush prairie, where the mulatto took up his claim, was named 
for him. He died in 1867. In 187.5 his son grew wheat which the 
next year took the gold medal in the great Centennial Exposition 
in Philadelphia. Bush was kindness itself to the new-coming 
white settlers through all the early years and never would take 
pay for the foods that he furnished to them. He was an honor to 
his race and an adornment to the territory, and the settlers soon 









■ v.- ■■**^ 

















'/ i 

t JK %■ • 



/ "l 

h^' ■ 'm 








^P^ f 







The first settler on Puget Sound 


took cognizance of the fact. Simmons persuaded the Legislature 
to make an exception of Bush, and in 1854 Congress, upon a 
memorial from the Washington Territorial Legislature, cleared 
Bush's title to his 640-acre claim, 

AVhile ]McCarver was in the Legislature a man jumped his 
claim. ^IcCarver procured another two miles from Oregon City, 
where he later developed the "3IcCarver apple," and it is said also 
that he started horseradish west of the mountains from a tinv 
piece of dried-up root which he had brought overland with him. 
He had his new home in fairly good order by the time his family 
came in 184.5. 

Baiting the British lion, tlien represented in the Xorthwest 
by a war vessel or so and b}^ the Hudson's Bay Company, was a 
popular pastime for many years, and one of the particular 
occasions was the Fourth of July celebration in 1846, zest to 
which was given by the presence of the ^Nlodeste, a British war- 
ship. Andrew Hood, a notable character in early Oregon, and 
the father of ]Mrs. Joseph Ralston, one of Tacoma's oldest citi- 
zens, was chairman of the preliminary meetings, and ]\IcCarver 
was on the arrangements committee. Peter H. Burnett was the 
orator of the day, and McCarver, among others, followed him in 
apostrophizing American freedom. 

JMrs. ]McCarver died November 19, 1846, leaving two children. 
January 20, 1848, jNIcCarver married ^Irs. Julia A. Buckalew, 
and in 1848 he was among the first to join the army of argonauts 
who dashed southw^ard when news came of the gold strike in 
California. Gold had been found in January, 1848, but the 
information did not reach Oregon for six months or more. The 
news was carried by ship to Honolulu; was then brought by 
Governor Douglas to Victoria ; Governor Douglas sent the news 
to Fort Xisqually, Fort Nisqually communicated it to Fort Van- 
couver, and it soon reached the ears of the settlers. Today such 
a piece of intelligence would be flashed to every part of the 
United States within an hour. 

INIcCarver, D. B. Hannah and others rode horses, w^th mule 
trains following, but most of the gold-rushers traveled in 
wagons. Tliere was a perfect liegira southward. A hundred 
employes abandoned their work at the Vancouver ])ost of the 


Hudson's Bay Company and hastened away full of hope. Mc- 
Carver had no misgivings in this step. He again was ready to 
move on. His restless soul rebelled against the monotony of farm 
life, but more against the hard conditions which the Federal 
Government did all too little to attempt to correct. He did fairly 
well at mining but soon the townsite fever gripped him and he 
is said to have approached the Sutters, father and son, who owned 
the land, with the proposal to establish a city. A town was platted 
and was about ready for the sale of lots to begin when Peter H. 
Burnett appeared on the scene and, according to McCarver's 
version of the matter, deceitfully ingratiated himself into the 
favors of the Sutters and succeeded in depriving McCarver of 
participation in the townsite enterprise. Burnett is said to 
have made $100,000 clear out of this adventure and McCarver 
never forgave him. McCarver bought lots, built a store, con- 
structed several houses for rent, and bought a small schooner for 
trading about the bay. He made money rapidly. However, he 
with hundreds of others lost enormously in the flood of the winter 
of 1849-.)0, when steamboats ran in the streets of Sacramento, 
and boats for rescue work rented at $30 an hour. 

McCarver had become a member of the California Legislature 
under a provisional government which seemed to have neither 
head nor tail, and which did not last long, as California became 
a state in 18.50. He presided at the Sacramento meeting called 
to discuss and forward the movement for a constitutional con- 
vention in Monterey and he was elected as a delegate. There 
again his feeling on the intermingling of blacks and whites broke 
forth. Early in the session he introduced a resolution binding 
California, as Oregon had been bound, against the admission of 
colored persons. He made such a vigorous fight on the floor, 
and his oratory was so persistent and fervid that he became known 
as "The Old Brass Cannon." He pressed the matter day after 
day and the convention in committee of the whole finally adopted 
it, probably with the aim of at once silencing McCarver and 
smothering his resolution, and that was the effect of the action. 

INIcCarver sold out in Sacramento for $30,000, and began 
speculating in ships and produce, and in 1850 he returned to his 
Oregon farm, taking with him a piano which he had bought in 


San I'raiicisco. It remained in the family for fifty years and 
is now in the Ferry JNluseum. ISIcCarver entered with enthusiasm 
hito the work of farming and made a success of it as long as he 
remained content with it. His a^jple exhibit at the first fair held 
in San Francisco won a first premium and a medal. A short time 
after he returned north he started his son Thomas east to enter 
the military academy at West Point, an appointment having been 
procured, but the young man upset many of his family's plans 
by slipping up to Ohio and marrying INIary E. Goodlief, the 
daughter of a banker in McConnellsville. McCarver never quite 
forgave him. The young couple came west two years later. 

In 1848 McCarver was appointed to the commissary depart- 
ment of the Oregon military forces and assisted in provisioning 
them through the Cayuse war, a task of great difficulty as money 
was not available. Joel Palmer, well known in Oregon history, 
was the chief of this department and it became a matter of bor- 
rowing, begging and commandeering enough to keep the soldiery 
on its feet. In April, 18.54, IVIcCarver was made commissary 
general, and again in 185.5, he took the same responsible office, 
and was given the title of Colonel. The Indian war of that year 
and the next cost more than $6,000,000, which the Federal 
Government failed to pay for almost ten years, and then after 
sunmiarily reducing tlie bills, and to cap the climax it paid in 
depreciated currency — another wretched donation to a series of 
deplorable federal blunders by which the Northwest suffered 

When one looks back upon that period one is constrained 
to believe that in the hearts of the strong men and women who 
settled this country there was a form of patriotism unusual in its 
profoimd virility. For, in spite of accumulated federal injustices, 
including what amounted almost to an abandonment of this sec- 
tion by the federal troops in the course of the Indian war, these 
pioneers stood steadfastly b}^ the flag through the early '60s 
when a dangerous attempt was made to lead the coast settlements 
into secession. 

McCarver went to Washington City to prod the officials 
there, hoping by direct appeal to procure an early settlement of 
the war claims, but he met disappointment in that. While he was 


there Governor Stevens of Washington Territory resigned, and 
JNIcCarver endeavored to procure the appointment. Fayette 
Mc]\Iullin, of Virginia, was appointed. JNIcCarver remained in 
Washington seven months, then returned to Oregon, determined 
to remove from Oregon City to Portland, which he did, but he 
scarcely was settled there before another adventure much to his 
liking presented itself. Gold had been found on the Fraser 
River, and jNIcCarver hastened northward. However, he did not 
go to the goldfields, but invested in Victoria property and soon 
returned to Portland, where for nine years he made a business of 
collecting Indian war claims, payment of which was strung 
along through nearly forty years. When, in 1862, gold was found 
in Idaho, McCarver and others opened a general store in what 
afterward became Idaho City and made money rapidly. But 
this wearied him. He turned his affairs over to his partners and 
struck out for New York City with a quartz-mining program 
in which he hoped to interest capital. While he was there his 
store burned and the firm went out of business. 


1868 :\JC CARVER buys part of CARR claim HOOD BUILDS FIRST 








April 8, after having procured the Carr claim at Chehaulip, 
JNIcCarver started back to Portland to report his find to Lewis 
M. Starr, president, and James Steel, cashier, of The First 
National Bank, whom he had persuaded to join him in the town- 
site enterprise. They thought him over-enthusiastic, but Starr 
agreed to return to Chebaulip with him, which he immediately 
did. He, too, was pleased, and the deal with Job Carr at once 
was consummated. Starr took up a claim for his brother. Mc- 
Carver also took one, choosing the land now partly occupied by 
the Stadium, known for many years as "Old Woman's Gulch." 
Starr immediately built a cabin. With ]\IcCarver and Starr on 
this trip were Thomas Hood and David Caufield, both of whom 
had known JNIcCarver in Oregon City. Hood took a claim on 
the highlands, and he constructed the first cabin "on the hill." 
This was at South Ninth and M streets. The cabin in after years 
was bought by C. P. Ferry. McCarver and Starr, lodged with 
the Carrs while here. Their presence and the filing of the Carr 
deed April 8 soon became known in other settlements on tlie 
Sound, which were considerably excited over wliat was rumored 
to be extensive and immediate development. 



Starr and JNIcCarver returned to Portland, JNIcCarver to 
prepare his business affairs and his family for removal to Com- 
mencement Bay. They came in the early summer of 1869 and 
spent their first night on the future townsite at the home of Frank 
Spinning. The next morning Anthony Carr rowed them down 
the bay and they set up their household in a cabin of logs, boards 
and shakes, which Anthony Carr had built for them at the mouth 
of "Old Woman's Gulch." There were three children, Virginia, 
Elizabeth and Naomi, who was deaf. They were here to join in 
the first Fourtli of July celebration on the townsite, mention of 
which is made in Howard Carr's diary as follows: 

"July 4, 1868 — Beautiful dav. Everybody came down from 
the reservation to Shuballop ; had music and fun, then all aboard 
canoes and across the bay to the point (Brown's Point) where 
we proceeded to j)icnic in old style. A huge time — clams and all. 
Then up to the reserve, had supper and came home tired but 
satisfied, and now three times three for the Union." 

JNIcCarver, fired with his enterprise, bombarded his Portland 
partners with letters. C. P. Ferry had arrived, and he, too, began 
waiting letters to friends. Ferry had married a daughter of 
Mrs. Buckalew, JNIcCarver's second wife. He was active with 
McCarver in many business matters, serving as INIcCarver's sec- 
retary part of the time. 

INIcCarver no doubt needed a man of Ferry's education as 
his own had been acquired for the most part in the school of 
experience and, like many another well-informed and progres- 
sive man of his time, he faltered in orthography, though he was 
a rapid penman. He spelled and pronounced "point" without 
the "o"; Julia he spelled "Jewly," and self, "selfe," and in some 
of his lapses he pronounced Puget as though it were spelled 
"Pugget," an error in which he has had much company. It is not 
by any means rare to hear a Point Defiance street car conductor 
shout boldly and unashamed: "Pugget Sound Avenue!" Perhaps 
tlie day may come when the Indian name of the Sound, 
"Hwulge," meaningful and picturesque, again will find its place 
in our nomenclature. Peter Puget hardly occupied a position in 
English history to entitle him to an immortality such as Captain 
Vancouver conferred. 






Built by McCarver in 1869 ami still standing in Old Taconia 



One of the letters that JMcCarver sent to his partners urges 
the building of a sawmill and says: "Within a few rods of my 
house I can frequently throw out with my bare hands, from the 
bay, enough smelt to supply a camp of fifty men." 

All of these early stories tell of the w^onderful fishing. The 
Swan & Riley fishing camp in the. waters just beyond Chebaulip, 
had been making great hauls — 2,000 fine salmon in one seining, 
as a writer tells it, and their annual pack amounted to from two 
to four thousand barrels. 

Portland then and for many years fought the new settle- 
ment, and Starr and Steel did not want to be known in connec- 
tion with the Commencement Bay enterprise. Other Portland 
men also feared accusations of disloyalty to their city. One of 
INIcCarver's letters tells of Governor INIoore having bought forty 
acres from Anthony Carr, but "Moore does not want it known in 
Portland." August 29, iSIcCarver wrote to his partners that he 
had investigated and found valueless what had been reported to 
him as a fine bed of iron ore in the Puyallup Valley eight or ten 
miles from the townsite, and September 17 he again wrote, saying 
that Philip Ritz had just visited Commencement City and was 
much pleased. 

Ritz was a director in the Columbia River and Puget Sound 
Company and had much influence with the Northern Pacific 
Company, and ^IcCarver's idea was to gain his support by sell- 
ing him a quarter interest in the townsite "at a fair, but not a 
speculative, price." INIcCan^er had particular hopes just then 
that the Union Pacific would choose Commencement City as its 
terminus, and he was right, though forty years ahead of his 
desire's realization. 

In one of his letters he said he was writing for the Portland 
Oregonian an article on "Who first thought of the Pacific Rail- 
road?" "It gives me an excellent opportunity," said INIcCarver's 
letter, "to make public the importance of our townsite, without 
apparent ostentation. I was long ago given that credit, by reason 
of my printed letter, written in 1843, immediately after passing- 
over the route now occupied by the Union Pacific railroad. 1 
shall also claim the paternity of the terminus here." 

If McCarver thought he was the pioneer in the trans- 


continental railroad dream he was badly mistaken, as several 
others had written on the snbject before 1843. Xo doubt scores 
of jJersons had dreamed of the day when the iron horse would 
cross the continent, almost simultaneously with the opening of 
the first railroad, and a few had thought of it before that in all 
probability. The man who is given credit for the first public 
advocacy of such a project was Dr. Samuel Bancroft Barlow, a 
physician in Granville, JMass., who as early as 1834 was con- 
tributing to the newspapers substantial arguments in favor of the 
government building a railroad from New York to the mouth of 
the Columbia River. A year later Rev. Samuel Parker, the 
missionary who enlisted the services of JNIarcus Whitman in the 
Indian mission field, wrote in his journal, after crossing the 
Rockv ]Mountains : 

"There would be no difficulty in the way of constructing a 
railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. There is no 
Greater difficultv in the whole distance than has alreadv been 
overcome in passing the Green JNIountains between Boston and 
Albany; and probably the time may not be far distant when tours 
will be made across the continent, as they have been made to the 
Niagara Falls, to see Nature's wonders." 

Again ^IcCarver w^rote September 27, that "I think more of 
our place since seeing Seattle. The railroad engineer who would 
give it preference taking everything into consideration, would 
recommend his employers to take counterfeit instead of gold and 
silver. Inspection is all we need to secure selection of our town 
as the railroad terminus." 

With Captain Clendenin, Caufield, Hood and How^ard and 
Anthonv Carr, McCarver made trips up the Puyallup valley and 
elsewhere looking for coal, and on returning from one of them he 
reported to his partners that Howard Carr and D. Caufield, who 
had gone some distance into the hills, had returned with fine 
samjiles of coal. They had discovered a coal field whicli since 
has yielded millions of tons. It was the first bituminous find on 
the coast, and it had a great deal to do with the future of the 
village, as well as the entire western coast. 

In June of 18G8 Samuel Hadlock, a millwright, was sent 
north by a party of San Francisco men to find a site for a saw- 


mill. These men were Charles Hanson, who is said to have 
looked over the Tacoma Peninsula in 1866, John W. Aekerson, 
John A. Uuss and ^Villianl P. ^Vallace. Hadlock looked around 
for a month or more, visiting nearly all of the settlements on the 
Sound, and Unally reported to his partners that Port Orchard 
was a desirahle site. They instructed him to procure the land and 
arrange for the machinery and proceed with the building of the 
mill. He, however, though an experienced millman, desired a 
j)ersonal inspection by his partners, and John W. Aekerson was 
sent by them. It soon was discovered that the Port Orchard 
projjerty was school land and not available for sawmill ])urposes, 
and Hadlock and Aekerson renewed the search for a site. John 
Swan carried them to Quartermaster Harbor where he urged 
them to build. 

One day in the fall of 1868, William Lane, who, with his 
brother, Albert, was logging on what became the townsite of 
Tacoma, drove to Steilacoom for supplies, and he saw, standing 
in the street, a tall man in blue overalls. Lane wanted a logger 
and he asked the man if he desired work. The stranger replied 
with some hesitation that he did, and Lane made an offer. The 
man told Lane that he didn't care for the job, l)ut would like to 
find a millsite. He thought, he said, of building a little mill. 
Lane told him he knew of a first rate site. The stranger climbed 
into Lane's wagon and rode home with him. He informed Lane 
that his name was Hadlock. Hadlock remained all night at one 
of the settler's cabins and the next day Lane rowed him to several 
places, but emphasized the advantages of Chebaulip, with its little 
bay or inlet on the Anthony Carr claim. Hadlock was cap- 
tivated. He told Lane it was the best millsite he ever had seen 
and notified Aekerson who had lieen empowered to negotiate for 
the company. Aekerson at once bought 30 acres from Carr, 
17 from JMarshall F. INIoore and 38 from INIcCarver. For the 
8.5 acres $700 was paid. The mill, with a daily capacity of 40,000 
feet, was built on the Carr land, with Hadlock in command. 

The Lane brothers, with tlieir teams, got out the big logs for 
tlie mill's foundation and a boom of logs, measuring about 
500,000 feet, cut })y the Lanes on the Stephen Hilton claim, was 
the first timber cut bv the Hanson, Aekerson & Co. JNIill. 


Its first cargo, 600,000 feet, was shipped in December, 1869, 
to San Francisco, on the Samoset. This vessel was built in 
Portsmouth, N. H., in 1847. She was 136 feet in length, 31 feet 
breadth of beam, 21 feet deep, tonnage 633. Her captain was 
John ^lartin. She had a square stern and a figure head of 
Samoset, a famous Indian chief. She was a fast sailer. 

Almost without cessation until within the last few months the 
ring of the old mill's saws have been heard. Up to January 1, 
1915, it had cut 2,590,416,590 feet; in other words, the plant has 
consumed the timber from about 65,000 acres of land. The 
largest timber it has cut was two feet square and 136 feet in 
length. Its greatest ten-hour cut was 467,866 feet— in July, 
1889, a record tliat astonished the lumber world. 

Charles Hanson was the dominating figure in the company 
until his death INIarch 21, 1898. He never lived in Tacoma, but 
his name has been familiar since Tacoma was born. His son, 
William H., became the owner of three-fourths of the stock and 
lived in Tacoma from 1888 to 1898. He died in January, 1916, 
leaving an estate worth about $1,000,000. 

Hanson the elder began life as a common sailor, and he won 
the title of "Shingle King," when, at the time of the Fraser River 
gold excitement, he cornered the shingle market of California 
and began shipping on a heavy scale to British Columbia. He 
was born in Denmark. It has been said tliat his wife taught him 
to read. He was a Lutheran and a republican. After running 
the mill for a time the need of better towage facilities caused him 
to buv the Black Diamond, a steamer famous in her dav, and 
later on he operated the Dasliing Wave. 

This remarkable vessel was built in Portsmouth, N. H., in 
1853. She was of 1,012.14 tons net, with white oak frames and 
copper fastened. Her length was 181 feet, 8 inches, breadth 
39Vo feet, and depth 21I4 feet. Her first visit to the Tacoma 
mill was on November 30, 1870, and thereafter she plied mostly 
between the mill and San Francisco, occasionally making trips to 
Guaymas, Honolulu and San Diego. She usually made about a 
dozen round trips annually between Tacoma and San Francisco. 
She carried 750,000 feet of lumber. On her return trips she 
brought mercliandise for the mill store. She was clipper built, a 


Senior menil)er of tlie firm of Han- 
son, Ackei'son & Coniiiany, wh'.ch built 
the "Hanson Mill," now the Tacoma 
Mill, in 01(1 Tacoma in 1869. 


full rigged ship with sky sails, and a fast sailer, and was com- 
manded by Captain Connor. She made one voyage between 
Tacoma and San Francisco in four days three hours. It was said 
that she had been a privateer in the Civil war — a story that gained 
a new vitality when, upon her being repaired here, there was found 
embedded in her stern quarter a four-inch iron cannon ball and a 
number of minie balls. For many years after she began running 
to Tacoma she carried a lot of muzzle loading rifles and cutlasses. 
These were on her when the mill company bought her. It also 
was said that the old ship had sunk in New York Harbor and had 
spent some eighteen months under water. 

She w'as known as a lucky ship and never had a serious mishap 
in all the thirty years that she was in the mill company's service. 
In a heavy northerly storm that swept Tacoma January 16, 1883. 
the Dashing Wave's stern moorings were cut away, but she safely 
weathered the storm, riding at her anchors, while other vessels 
around her suif ered severely. The Lauderdale bore down on the 
Oriental and pounded out the latter's side, and the Hannah W. 
Dudley, Eldorado and another vessel broke from their moorings 
at the mill and piled up on the beach. Tugs pulled them off the 
next morning. 

The "Wave" as she was commonly known was sold, with a 
full cargo of lumber at the time of the Nome gold excitement in 
INIay, 1900, to Scott & Stewart. Two years later she was sold to* 
the Pacific Cold Storage Company of Tacoma which stripped her 
canvas, cut down her masts and made a barge of her. She was 
fitted with refrigerating apparatus and for several years she v/as 
towed to and from Alaska ports, loaded on her outgoing trips 
with thousands of tons of fresh meats, etc. She is now moored 
in an Alaskan harbor and her refrigerating plant continues to 
serve the far nortli. A painting of the historic old ship, by 
Coulter, adorns one of the panels of the Merchants' Exchange in 
San Francisco. 

In 187-5 the mill company bought tlie towboat Tacoma, built 
in San Francisco at a cost of $7o,000. 

The first electric lights on Puget Sound twinkled in tlie 
Hanson mill, and here also was operated the first "gang" and 
the first gang-edger. J. INI. Colman w^as the company's master 
meclianic when these important betterments were added. 


Coliiiaii had owned a mill at Port Orchard which burned in 
'09, and later he w^ent through bankruptcy. His career was 
meteoric, and caused the financial ruin of a number of men. 
He was charged with a character of high finance that would have 
adorned the legends of Wall Street at its worst, but in the end 
he came out with flying colors as the owner of the Colman Block, 
the Colman Dock and other rich properties in Seattle. 

The building of the mill brought a considerable company to 
Chebaulip. There then lived on the townsite, omitting the men 
brought in by the mill, the Carr family. Job, his daughter and two 
sons, JNIr. and ^Irs. INIcCarver, and their three daughters, Frank 
Spinning, Thomas Hood, David Caufleld, William jNlahon, 
James W. Law, William P. Byrd, Lucius V. Starr and James 
W. King. 

In the fall of '68 there landed at Chebaulip the first steamer 
carrying mail and passengers — the old Eliza Anderson. It was 
a foggy evening and as the boat approached she sounded her siren 
again and again, and with such seeming alarm that the settlers 
feared a disaster had occurred. Anthony Carr, by way of guiding 
the boat ashore fired his rifle in reply to every blast of the whistle, 
and finally the boat slowly crept in. C. P. Ferry and his wife 

The Eliza Anderson, built on the Columbia in '.59, was a 
famous institution for many years, and probably she made as 
much money as anything of her tonnage that ever floated. She 
plied between Olympia and Victoria and her skipper was banker 
all along her route. He cashed time checks and souietimes dis- 
counted notes with a five or ten per cent discount. All of the mill 
and logging companies paid in time checks and the Eliza Ander- 
son's arrival Mas awaited with enthusiasm on paydays. Captain 
Finch was a very religious man, and every Chrismas he presented 
a Bible to each white employe on the boat while each Indian hand 
was presented with the cash value of a Bible. His zeal for the 
Cross did not extend to the aborigines. He would not sail his 
])oat on Sunday and often resorted to expensive stratagems in 
order to ensure himself and his crew the biblical day of rest. 
Another man who captained the boat was George D. JNIessegee. 
He began his seafaring career on the Eliza Anderson and worked 


his way to the chief command. Some years later he owned an 
interest in the Zephja*, the first stern-wheeler built on the Sound. 
She was completed in Seattle in 1871. In 1887 she was bought 
by the Tacoma JNIill Company and finished as a tow boat the 
career she had begun as a "floating palace." 

On one occasion the Zephyr went into Steilacoom in a storm 
and the captain decided to send the mail overland to Tacoma, 
fearing his little vessel would have difficulty in the teeth of the 
north wind that was sweeping the Tacoma harbor. This moved 
Editor Julius Dickens, of the Steilacoom paper, to comment in 
sarcastic verse: 

"Now cease, ye howling winds, to play 

Your naughty pranks at Tacoma. 

Boreas, be still; nor swell your cheeks; 

You sure will bust ! Your boiler leaks ! 

Mailbag the wind, and save this great annoy. 

As wise Ulysses did, returning home from Troy." 

The McCarvers returned to their Portland home for the 
winter and in the following March (1869) they came back to 
Tacoma, traveling this time on the steamer Gussie Telfair, which 
also brought the timber, hardware, glass, paint, etc., for their new 
house which was not completed until autumn. In fact it was 
delaj^ed in a minor particular long enough to get into its construc- 
tion a plank from the new sawmill. This house still stands at 
North 28th and McCarver streets and about it are the fruit trees 
that McCarver planted. The Gussie Telfair was the first ocean- 
going steamer to plough the waters of Commencement Bay, and 
the date of her landing in Tacoma was ]March 17, 1869. The only 
passenger besides the JNIcCarvers was A. S. Gross. ^ 

The little town, rough indeed, merely a mill settlement sucli 
as one sees now in the remote places, ^vas on its feet by the time 
the mill was ready for operation. Around it had grown a few 
simple shacks which some of the bachelor workmen had con- 

The first death in Tacoma was that of a ^Irs. INIartin, wife 
of a carpenter who worked in the mill. The exact date is not 
known, but it was some time in 1869. She was buried in the woods 

Vol. I— 8 


in what is now Oakwood cemetery. Just after the casket was 
lowered the husband stepped near the grave, raised his arms in 
reverential and appealing attitude and sang in a fine baritone 
voice a song expressing his love for the dej^arted helpmeet. 

The first calaboose in Old Tacoma was a room in a livery 
stable, but in 1870 or '71 a little structure built of 2x4 scantling 
was spiked together. This stood in an alley between INIcCarver 
and Starr streets and 29th and 30th streets. It was as dark as a 
cave, unheated and forlorn, and it is said that its very appearance 
discouraged evil-doing. In 1874 a police station was built at 
12th and A streets, and later on additional stations were erected 
at Xorth 12th and G streets and at South 21st and Pacific 
avenue. The station at 12th and G streets afterward was 
I'emoved to Old Tacoma and joined to the scantling station w^hich 
before that had been removed to the dock and later to Starr 
street on the lower side of 30th street where it still stands. 
William R. Kahlow was the first constable. 

McCarver meanwhile continued to write to eastern friends 
of influence and to contribute to the press articles in enthusiastic 
praise of Tacoma as a railroad terminus. He was the subject of 
considerable ridicule. Portland, Olympia, Steilacoom and Seattle 
newspapers lampooned him over and over and some of his friends 
even found sport in raillery at his great expectations. INIcCarver 
believed from the day he first dropped his sounding lead into the 
bay that he had found the natural terminus for the Xorthern 
Pacific Railroad and he seemed to have no fear whatever that 
Olympia, Steilacoom or Seattle would offer serious rivalry. The 
hopes of the village had run high when in 1868 two railroad com- 
panies were organized to build from the Columbia River to 
Puget Sound. The companies had the same name — "Puget 
Sound and Columbia River Railroad Company." One was 
incorporated under local laws by S. G. Reed, Sirus Olney, S. P. 
Jones and John W. Brazee; the other attempted to procure a 
charter from Congress but the measure was defeated by Xorthern 
Pacific interests. This company was formed by R. R. Haines, 
T. F. McElroy, Joseph Cushman, George A. Barnes, T. I. 
McKenny, Fred A. Clark, S. D. Howe, INIarshall F. INIoore, 
G. A. Meigs, Arthur A. Phinney, George V.- Calhoun, Cyrus 


Walker, A. A. Denny, P. D. Moore, C. E. P. Wood, Philip Ritz, 
1). S. Baker, E. S. Fowler, Hazard Stevens, Philip Keach and 
P. V. Van Triinip. 

At this time Ben Holliday, the leading transportation figure 
in Oregon, contemplated huilding a railroad to Puget Sound 
from the Columbia River. McCarver undertook to encourage 
this and was sharply assailed by the Olympia Transcript, but at 
the same time the people of Olym^^ia were doing all they could 
do to make Holliday see Ohmipia as the terminus. However, the 
railroad, like dozens of others in that time, never became more 
than a beautiful hoj)e. 










Aside from the simple shacks of the mill employes, the first 
frame building erected in Tacoma was the Steele Hotel, in Febru- 
ary, 1869, the lumber being brought from Seattle. The hotel 
came some time before the mill was completed. The hotel had 
twenty-four rooms, and ^Irs. H. X. Steele, energetic, efficient 
and merry, quickly made a paying enterprise of her institution. 
Her hotel afforded a table somewhat famous throughout tlie 
Sound region, and the cleanliness of the establishment, squatted, 
as it was, in a Avilderness of stumps and with anything but comely 
surroundings, is commented upon favorably to this day by those 
who remember it. JSIrs. Steele's husband had been a miner in the 
Cariboo country. Sometimes he was in funds, and sometimes he 
wasn't. When he was Mrs. Steele invested in diamonds against 
a day of need. When that day came she hypothecated the gems, 
and with the proceeds she built her hotel. The building, or part 
of it, still stands in Old Town — a valuable landmark, and, unfor- 
tunately, a decaying monument to the intelligent industry of a 
brave A\oman. 

Mrs. Steele had to buy her supplies in Seattle. To reach that 
point she walked to Steilacoom to take the boat; on the return she 
walked from Steilacoom to Tacoma. 


She was the wife of H. N. Steele and sho 
built the first hotel in Taeoma in 1869. Her 
(lauiihter Ann'e, now Mrs. Charles E. Hill, 
and her son Floyd were the first children in 
Old Taeoma. 


Mrs. Steele owned a handsome little pearl-handled pistol that 
was coveted by Sheriff Davisson, who frequentl}^ was a guest at 
her hotel. Again and again he tried to buy the weax^on but failed 
and finally he borrowed it. Months elapsed without its return, 
and Mrs. Steele's appeals brought no results. Finally Davisson 
came to the hotel one day with an a})ology and a deed. He said 
he had misplaced the little w^eapon, and by w^ay of compensation 
he proposed to give to ]Mrs. Steele a deed to two acres of land at 
the corner of South Twelfth and Sprague streets, where he had 
a preemption claim. ]Mrs. Steele in after years sold the land to 
J. S. Howell for $2,000, and Howell built his home there. The 
house still stands. 

The Steeles bought the first lots sold in Commencement City, 
at Thirtieth and JNIcCarver streets. They had an agreement with 
McCarver to pay $300 for them if a railroad came to the place 
within five years, and $100 if it did not. JNIcCarver made similar 
agreements with many of the lot buyers in Old Town, to his sor- 
row, humiliation and financial loss in the vears to come. 

The Steele Hotel was operated until 1883^ and sheltered a 
host of dignitaries in its day. Prominent singers, lecturers, rail- 
road functionaries, congressmen and senators lodged there. It 
was a popular stopping place for those who were waiting for 
sailing vessels to take them to San Francisco. 

The first family to settle in Tacoma after the building of the 
mill had begun was that of A. W. Stewart, who for a few" years 
had been wagon-maker in the Government employ on the Indian 
reservation. AVhen the Stewarts moved over from the Puyallup 
River ]Mrs. Hadlock, wife of the mill builder, who w^as here only 
temporarily, and ]Marietta Carr, were the only women in the 
vicinity of the mill site. The Stewarts moved into one of the 
little mill shacks in a gulch. One of the Stewart children was 
W. W. Stewart, ^^ho now lives on McKinley Plill. Another 
was Annie, now Mrs. C. H. Stoltenberg, and a third was 
C. A. Stewart, a tiny infant. He was the first white baby in what 
is now Old Tacoma. jNIrs. Stoltenberg tells how Lucius Starr 
essayed to engage his talents in agriculture. He managed by 
dint of much labor to clear a hillside sufficiently to plant a patcli 
of potatoes. A few davs later a heavy rain washed his entire 


"farm" to the foot of the hill. One night when Stewart was row- 
ing home from the reservation a cougar, slipping along the beach, 
followed him almost to his very door. 

Other early comers were William and Sarah Louisa Denny 
Baker, and to them, four months after they came here, was born 
a baby girl, who has the distinction of being the fii'st child born 
in Tacoma. The date of her birth was February 4, 1870. They 
named her Lena Tacoma Baker. She married Harvey John- 
ston and died in 1897, leaving three children, Mrs. Eunice New- 
man and George Johnston of Sumner and Mrs. jNlattie Schoon- 
over, of Portland, Oregon. AVilliam Baker was killed by a 
runawav horse twentv-five vears affo, but jNIrs. Baker, now 
sevent}^-six years of age, lives with relatives in Sumner. The 
Bakers had five children when they came to Tacoma from Albany, 
Oregon, the eldest being twelve years old. Three of them still 
live — ]Mrs. Fred Spinning, Horace Baker and Lucy Baker Bon- 
ney, all of Smiiner or vicinity. The family came from Clark 
County, Indiana, and were related to the Dennys who had much 
to do with the early building of Seattle. 

]Mrs. Baker says that when they came to Tacoma they found 
four dwelling houses, a saloon, a store and a hotel. The Bakers 
lived in a tent for two months, and then moved into the "lean-to" 
of a log house which the ]\lcCarvers had used for a short 
time M'hile their house was being completed. In this log house 
J. P. Stewart, one of the earlv teachers in Steilacoom, was teach- 
ing the first school in Tacoma, with about thirteen children, all 
of whom belonged to the Baker, A. W. Stewart and Fleetwood 
families. In the "lean-to" little Lena Tacoma was born, with no 
physician within miles of the place. Mrs. Baker remembers that 
at the time they came the Carrs, INIcCarv^ers, Hadlocks, George 
T. Vining, afterwards drowned when the steamer Pacific sank, 
and the Carsons were the only persons living in "Old Town" ex- 
cept the transients employed about the mill. Mr. Carson owned 
a ranch in the Puyallup Valley. He came to find employment in 
the mill, and Mrs. Carson washed for the sailors when the boats 
came in. They had two pretty daughters, Hattie and Helen, 
whom the neighbors called the "swamp angels" because they lived 
in a shack in the gulch below the footbridge leading to the mill. 

First white child born in. Tacoma 

Parents of Lena Tacoma Baker 



The second child born was Annie Lansdale, daughter of 
Dr. and ^Irs. Lansdale. She became the wife of Supreme Judge 
31ilo A. Hoot, and the third was Floyd Steele, son of ^Nlr. and 
Mrs. H. X. Steele. He now lives in Alaska. 

Coming to the townsite on the Samoset in 1869, to remain 
for many years, George Edwin Atkinson, born in New Bruns- 
wick, quickly took a prominent place in the community. He was 
a man of rough exterior but of fine heart qualities. He became 
storekeeper at the mill, and later superintendent of the plant. 
He was justice of the peace and acting coroner. For eighteen 
years he served the company and the community. He was one 
of the founders of St. Peter's Church, where he was a regular 
attendant, and at times lay reader. He became known as "the 
swearing deacon." He was much interested in lifting men out 
of the saloons and into the church, and it is told of him that he 
not infrequently passed through the uneven streets of the village, 
opening one saloon door after another, and shouting: 

"I want every d — d one of you to come to church tonight, 
and you'll each put fift}^ cents in the plate!" 

Usually he was followed back to the little meeting house by 
a goodly company, and now and then one of his followers w-as 
meek and lowly under the influence of a spirit not dispensed by 
the gospel. 

On one occasion a man placed $1 in the plate and asked for 
50 cents in change. 

"Kaufman will give you your change," said the "deacon" as 
he passed on. Kaufman w^as one of the several saloonkeepers. 

Tw^o small boys who sat in front of Atkinson at a service be- 
came somewhat nois}'. Atkinson's patience at length wore out. 
Rising, he took each of the youngsters by the scrufF of his neck, 
and set them down hard, three feet apart, with the admonition, 
audible over the church: 

"Now, d— n you, mi still!" 

One day Atkinson, pipe in mouth, stepped outside to ring the 
bell, puffing as he pulled the rope. Completing that task he 
returned to the back room where he laid aside his hat and picked 
lip liis book from W'hich to read the sermon. He walked into the 
auditoriiim dignified and earnest, lifted the book and essayed to 


read when the presence of the pipe between his teeth dawned 
upon him. "D — n that pipe!" he said viciously, and loud enough 
to be heard over the church, as he crushed it mto his pocket. Then 
he proceeded with the solemn duty before him. 

He was generosity^ itself to the ministers who in the early days 
of the church came occasionally. Usually he gave Rev. JNIr. 
Hyland a $20 gold piece at the close of each Sunday's w^ork. He 
found pleasure, too, in paying small boys to learn their catechisms. 

Mr. Ackerson, one of the j)artners in the mill company until 
1880, when he sold his interest to Hanson, lived in rooms over 
the mill store, and now and then his wife came up from San Fran- 
cisco to visit him. Later on he remarried, his bride being Miss 
Brown, a San Francisco school teacher, and brought her to Ta- 
coma. She was a gracious, helpful w'oman who took a great 
interest in the little community. She was a pianist of some abil- 
ity, and in her rooms above the mill store the neighbors gathered 
frequently for music and dancing. She and Mrs. Andrew Hood, 
whose husband had been noted in Oregon history and who had 
come to Tacoma to be with her daughter, Mrs. Joseph Ralston, 
probably were the first Tacomans to undertake the beautification 
movement in anything like a systematic w^ay. The rawness of 
the village almost appalled them. They w^ent around among the 
little mill houses, giving away vines, in many cases planting them 
with their own hands, and encouraging the mill-w^orkers to grow 
flowers and neat gardens. There are yet scattered about some 
of the berry bushes which they planted. INIcCarver himself was 
much interested in planting, and he brought to Tacoma the first 
apple and other fruit trees. He rode a mouse-colored mare about 
the townsite and its environs, visiting many settlers and encour- 
aging them, and he was given the name "Old Yum-Yum," 
because lie always was chcAving something— not tobacco. 

jNIrs. Ackerson assisted energetically in school and church mat- 
ters, contributing largely to the emi:)loyment of school teachers, 
and for a time, Avlien there was a shortage of money for school 
purposes, she and ^liss Annie Wolff conducted the school in the 
mill company's cookhouse. 

Dancing was the principal amusement. Any study of pioneer 
life, nearly everywhere outside of tlie early Puritan settlements. 


quickly brings to the sui'face the fact that the dance has been the 
premier pastime. Some of the pioneers danced across the plains, 
a lone fiddler by the campfire about which the dancers \A'hirled 
softening the heartaches of the wilderness and relieving the nos- 
talgia from which many suffered, even unto death. Homesick- 
ness and fear filled many a grave along the Oregon trail. The 
settlers danced in their blockhouses and forts ; they are still danc- 
ing in the cookhouses and cabins in the mill settlements and min- 
ing camps. 

"If it had not been for dancing we all would have died from 
homesickness," said Mrs. Joseph Ralston, now in her eighty- 
second year. 

In Old Tacoma they danced in the Steele Hotel, in the ware- 
house on the Hannah Wharf, in the cookhouse and in the little 
homes, to piano, violin or accordion. Xow and then they had 
other entertainment. The first "show" that came to Tacoma was 
Bosco, a sleight-of-hand performer. C. P. Ferry persuaded him 
to give an entertainment here, and Ferry joined in the enter- 
prise, agreeing to share the losses or the profits. Ferry, as well 
as Bosco, cleaned up a pocketful of small change. The village 
was hungry for novelty. 

Xow and then the community enjoyed choir singing by sailors 
on the ships. Sometimes the sailors came ashore and sang in 

Then there was Bethel Hall, opened by Rev. George H. 
Atkinson, a Congregationalist, and at first supplied with little 
more than a few religious tracts. This religious worker was es- 
pecially zealous in persuading the men to sign the temperance 
pledge and many did so — a somewhat heroic deed in a day when 
more or less drinking was almost universal, and when the bar 
was considered a necessary adjunct to commimity life. When the 
Steele Hotel opened it had its bar. The bar was an appanage 
of nearly every hotel, large or small, in that day. The Steele hotel 
bar, however, was operated in a very quiet way, and by a man of 
intelligence and character, Johnny Fuller. He afterward mar- 
ried Mrs. Steele. 

In the early '70s Old Tacoma had a brass band, directed by 
a Mr. Bisbee who compensated with enthusiasm what he lacked 


in musical training. The band had five members and its repertoire 
was limited to five pieces. Its star selection was the "Cecilia 
March." Often it went out serenading, and it was the custom 
of those honored by its call to rise from their beds and set a lunch 
for the players. Sometimes these serenades continued through 
most of the night. The band went out of existence after a short 
career, the Portland firm from which the members had bought 
their instruments seizing them for nonpayment. 

There were coarser amusements. Fighting for the drinks 
was one of them. This was a sort of free-for-all bout, usually 
refereed with some regard for the rules of the game, and took 
place in a saloon. One after another, men who had faith in their 
fists entered the improvised ring, and went at it hammer and tongs. 
Sometimes one man would whip all of those who offered them- 
selves. The man who made the poorest showing had to treat all 
hands. Xow and then one of these fights wound up seriously, and 
the merchants at length determined to employ a night marshal. 
One of these functionaries was a man named Davis who was 
accompanied on his nocturnal rounds by a bulldog. This animal 
strayed away, bothered a farmer with his howling and was shot. 
Davis sued the farmer for $99 damages but lost the case. Davis 
ever afterward was known as "Bull-dog Davis." 

For a short period in the early '70s Tacoma had a brewery of 
small capacity, but its two owners seem to have been its best 
patrons and they "drank it up." A man and his wife then under- 
took the management and it became notorious as a "jobbers' 
roost." Sailors, Indians and Kanakas gathered there in numbers 
and fights and robberies were frequent. The sheriff finally came 
down from Steilacoom to arrest the woman for selling whiskey to 
Indians. She asked for time to dress. The sheriff gallantly com- 
plied, but after waiting for an hour or so he became impatient and 
entered her room. She had taken to the woods. She next was 
heard of in Victoria. One Carsner, with a yoke of oxen, was the 
wood carrier for the community. He, his wife and four or five 
boys lived in the tiniest of shacks. Each of the boys had six toes 
on one foot. The family was called "the six-toed Carsners." 
Carsner moved to Kalama as he said too much civilization was 
coming to Tacoma to make life agreeable. 

A pioneer in religious work 


Fort Steilacoom, occupied by the military for nineteen 
years, had been abandoned April 22, 1868. Capt. Charles H. 
Pierce was the last commander there. Battery E, Second Artil- 
lery, the last force at the fort, having five officers and 124 enlisted 
men, was sent to Fort Tongass, Alaska. When the flag was 
hauled down for the last time Hon. Elwood Evans was on hand 
and he procured it. He gave it to Ferry Museum a few years 
ago, and it is now a prized relic there. The old buildings at Fort 
Steilacoom, twenty-five in number, were sold to the territory 
for $850, the land was donated, and August 19, 1871, the property 
became the territorial hospital for insane. To it were removed 
twenty-one patients who had been cared for at Monticello. Hill 
Harmon became superintendent and contractor for keeping and 
clothing the hospital's inmates. He repaired the old garrison 
buildings and aiForded what comforts he could to the unfor- 
tunates. C. W. Boeschen was the warden and Dr. S. Hemenwav 
was the resident physician. One of the women patients professed 
to have had 750 children. Among othe?* amusement features at 
the asylum in that day was a roller-skating rink. 

Fort Steilacoom was abandoned with the expectation that a 
new fort would be established at Point Defiance, this transference 
of military activity having been recommended by General Har- 
ney, in command of the department of Oregon. The general 
wrote under date of July 19, 1859, that Fort Steilacoom was badly 
located, being a mile from the Sound and without military ad- 
vantages. He was of the opinion that the impenetrable forests 
forever woidd preclude railroad transportation and that the Sound 
would have to be dej^ended upon. He therefore concluded that 
the positions which commanded the Sound would be the military 
points of protection and defense. 

"I would therefore respectfully suggest," said his letter, "that 
Fort Steilacoom be considered a temporary establishment until 
a proper site to cover the head of the Sound is hereafter named. 
I consider Point Defiance, on the east shore of the Sound, some 
sixteen or twenty miles to the north of Fort Steilacoom, as a 
proper site for this purpose. This point commands the Sound, 
it being about half a mile wide to tlie n])])osite shore; the bluff* is 
some eighty feet high, a sufficient back country, with good anchor- 


age and shores for wharfage. A battery of guns here would close 
the head of the Sound to the largest fleet." 

General Harney's advice was not then obeyed, he not then 
being favored with the friendship of the head of the army, 
Gen. W^infleld Scott, but the war department established a 
reservation of 638 acres, September 22, 1866, and this was 
approved by President Andrew Johnson. The reservation 
was never put to military uses and in 1888 the City of 
Tacoma was given the authority to occupy it as a park. In later 
years additional rights were conferred ujion the city and it led up 
to a squabble wdiich had the community by the ears for several 
weeks, arousing choler here and risibles there. 

In 1854 George Gibbs and Doctor Copper had surveyed Point 
Defiance Park. Robert Hamilton and William Lane carried the 
chain and Washington Downey was axman. ]Mr. Lane says 
that when thej^ had reached the extreme point Doctor Cooper re- 
marked with enthusiasm: "A fort here and a fort there f point- 
ing to Vashon Island), could defy the world. We will call this 
Point Defiance." 

John W. Ackerson presided over the first public political 
meeting held in Tacoma when Selucius Garfielde, republican 
nominee for congressional delegate, and a gifted orator, met in 
debate here J. D. ]Mix, democratic nominee. Accompanied by a 
brass band and singers, Garfielde came from Olympia on the 
steamer Favorite. Both nominees had spoken at Steilacoom on 
the afternoon of JMay 30, 1870. Personalities of a sharp charac- 
ter had been exchanged, and when they clashed that evening in a 
barn loft in Tacoma, it was no angelic spectacle that the audience 
witnessed. INIix assailed Garfielde with redoubled fury. Garfielde 
devoted an hour and a half to the Northern Pacific Railroad, to 
the assistance of which he promised his support. Xext day ]Mix 
proceeded to Seattle by canoe, with an Indian as motive power, 
while Garfielde and his party traveled by steamer. In the election 
the first ]Monday in June, the voters of Tacoma precinct cast 
thirty-five votes for jNIix, seventeen for Garfielde and one for 
Blinn. The officers of election were : M. M. ]McCarver, inspector; 
George T. Vining and F. C. Miller, judges; Anthony P. Carr 
and A. C. Lowell, clerks. Pierce County was democratic for 


many years. Two years later Garfielde was defeated, the voters 
of the Tacoma precinct showing their disfavor along with the 
remainder of the territory. Garfielde went to Washington City 
some time afterward, became the proprietor of a notorious resort 
and died there, his brilliance besotted with crime. 

A never-failing source of interest were the Indians who hov- 
ered about the settlement in considerable numbers. They w-ere 
very friendly and not infrequently entered the houses without 
invitation and squatted around the fires. They brought from the 
reservation berries and vegetables, making themselves, in this re- 
spect, very useful. They also peddled game, shellfish and salmon. 
They were ready to trade these commodities for rags, which they 
converted into carpets that found a ready sale among the settlers. 
The squaws knitted socks and sold them to the stores, which in 
turn sold them for a very much higher price. The Indian-knitted 
sock still is in demand, men who do heavy work in the open pre- 
ferring them to any other kind. 

Among the Indians who became w^ell known were "Gen. ]Mar- 
cellus Spot," Chief Sitwell, "Boston," "Shot-mouth Charley," 
and Stanup, a gracious and quite substantial character who, for 
a time at least, was the chief purveyor of vegetables to the leading 
families. He took a prominent part in Catholic affairs on the 
reservation, but afterw^ard became a Presbvterian, and his son, 
Peter, became a Presbyterian minister. 

One of the characters of the village was a man named Wil- 
son, who owned a saloon. He was not popular and w^as the butt 
of man}^ jokes. On one occasion the jokers decided to hold a 
mock funeral over Wilson. They hired a spring wagon and two 
horses, and loaded into the vehicle a coffin which they had nailed 
clumsily together. Crepe was used most ostentatiously, especially 
lugubrious in its adornment being a keg of beer w^hich was set on 
top of the coffin. The cortege crept up over the hill, following 
the rude trail which afterward became the "Steilacoom road" 
and proceeded about three miles, when the horses took fright, ran 
away, and returned to the village with only half of the wagon. 












The name "Commencement City" quite naturally had 
fastened itself upon the embryo city. Lacking both euphony 
and brevity, all of those interested in the success of the townsite 
operations early began discussing a suitable name, and out of it 
has grown a controversy, in some respects ludicrous, and so cloud- 
ing the issues that the inquirer finds difficulty in attempting to 
settle the matter. 

Two facts, however, loom out of the fog of dissension. The 
first is tliat the name "Tacoma" was suggested by Philip Ritz, 
then a notable character in Northwestern history. September 11, 
1868, ]Mr. Ritz visited the townsite, spending considerable time 
with ]McCarver, and staying one or two nights with Job Carr. 
Ritz Avas a student of the Northwest, a wide traveler, a man of 
affairs witli literary tastes and ^\\\\\ a knowledge of Indian 
nomenclature, which he believed in preserving. Before coming to 
Tacoma he liad been in Olympia, busy there with affairs in 
connection with the land office. W. H. Cushman, who recently 
died in Tacoma, had come West shortly before and had brought 
copies of all of Theodore Winthrop's books, among them, of 


He suggested "Tacoma" 


A factor in early church affairs and 


i ASToa, Lrv'-v . ..,„ 



course, being "Canoe and Saddle." Ritz read these books with 
great dehght, especially "Canoe and Saddle," and he talked about 
it freely Avith jNIr. Cushman and others. In that book is found 
for the first time in literature the name "Tacoma," as applied to 
the mountain officially called "Rainier." 

In spite 6f much Indian testimony to the contrary, Winthrop 
has been charged with having invented the word "Tacoma." It 
interests the student of early nomenclature, however, to know 
that on that memorable journey he also discovered that the 
Indians called Mount Baker "Kulshan," and the Sound, 
"Whulge." Bitter rivalry has not risen to charge that he 
invented either of these. Winthrop was a better listener than 
some of those who followed him. Undoubtedly "Tacoma" is an 
Indian word; undoubtedly Winthrop heard the Indians apply it 
to the mountain. 

Ritz was charmed with the euphony and meaning of the 
name "Tacoma" and he pressed it upon INIcCarver and Carr, and 
probably upon Ackerson, as a suitable name for their city. That 
it was favorably received may be assumed from the fact that 
Anthony Carr, jNI. oNI. jNIcCarver, John W, Ackerson and C. P. 
Ferry each has claimed the honor of applying it to "Chebaulip." 

The second fact is that jNIcCarver, Steel and Starr, being the 
owners of the townsite were the only ones who legally could 
apply the new name. 

October 23, 1868, Lewis M. Starr came from Portland and 
a meeting was held, Starr, jNIcCarver, Ackerson and Hadlock 
being present. They discussed the matter of a name for the town. 
iNIcCarver's able biographer, Thomas Prosch, says that INIcCar- 
ver then presented the name "Tacoma" and urged it with zeal; 
that Starr hesitated; that Hadlock immediately assented; that 
Ackerson said he had no town to name but that if he had one he 
would call it "Sitwell," the anglicized name of Chief Sitwulcli, 
of the Puyallups; that McCarver afterward called on Job Carr 
and found him ready to accept the name "Tacoma." 

Chief Sitwell lived \vesf of the Puyallup River just abont 
where the Chicago, INIilwaukee & St. Paul railroad track crosses, 
and he was one of the best friends the whites ever had. Pie Avas a 
tall, straight and handsome Indian, and he was insistent upon 


first-class schooling for the Indians. He was present at the 
Medicine Creek treaty negotiations and was one who was not in 
favor of accepting the fine promises made in the treaty, covering 
plows, harrows, etc., which the government never provided, but 
he stood strongly for schools. He stood by this princi])le vehe- 
mently and it was largely his influence which jnocured the setting 
aside of 640 acres as school land. This land embraced a large 
part of what is now ]\IcKinley Hill. The sale of it yielded an 
enormous sum to the Indian school fund. He is buried in the 
Indian cemetery near the Cushman Trades School, along with a 
number of other notable Indians. 

In the last week in October Steel, Starr and McCarver met 
in the First National Bank in Portland, and there agreed on a 
lot-selling program, and C. P. Ferry, in his capacity as occasional 
secretary to jNIcCarver, was asked to run his pen through the 
legend "Commencement City" on the map and substitute therefor 
"Tacoma." It was accordingly done, and the altered map now 
hangs in the Ferry Museum. 

On November 23 the Seattle Intelligencer said: 

"The name of the new town laid off by General McCarver 
and known as Commencement City has been changed to 'Tacoma' 
after the Indian name of iMount Rainier." 

Howard Carr's diarv makes no mention of anv discussion 
over the name, but the name "Tacoma" appears in the entries of 
September 28, and December 6. The first one says: 

"Got to Olympia at 10 a. m. and put up at Tacoma." 

The second: 

"Hurrah for Tacoma. Father and I came down in the first 
stage for the terminus." 

The first entry refers to the Tacomah House in Olympia, 
which had been opened for business by Hays & Drewry May 6, 
1867 — more than a year before the name was given to Commence- 
ment City. September 2, 1866, two years before Tacoma got its 
name, the Tacoma Lodge of Good Templars had been organized 
in Olympia. The name is said to have been suggested by Edward 
Giddings. Now whether either of these names was bestowed as 
a result of Ritz's enthusiastic admiration of it is not known, but 
neither of them, as far as Mr. Cushman remembered, antedated 

C6 L^ 

00 K- 

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the visit of Mr. Ritz to Olympia, at which time he read "Canoe 
and Saddle." JNIr. Cushman thought that Ritz read the book in 
1865 or early in 18()6. 

It may be said that Mr. Ritz's influence probably would not 
have been necessary in spreading the fame of the name, the popu- 
larity of which is attested by its having been adopted in many 
places over the continent. 

In October, 1878, the West Shore published the following: 

"Previous to the location of the mills General McCarver, 
believing that Carr was right, settled down there (Commence- 
ment Bay) and named the place Commencement City. After 
deciding to locate at that point Mr. Ackerson did not fancy the 
name and therefore renamed it Tacoma, after the Indian name 
for Mount Tacoma (Rainier), the beautiful snow peak near the 
bay. The General protested, but Mr. Ackerson was firm, and as 
Tacoma it is known yet." 

That, so far as can be learned, is the first printed omen of a 
controversy over the name, which became somewhat bitter ten 
years later. Mrs. Ackerson wrote to the Post-Intelligencer of 
Seattle December 16, 1890: 

"The name Tacoma was conferred upon the city on Com- 
mencement Bay by John W. Ackerson. * * * *" 

July 24, 1903, JNIrs. Ackerson again wrote: 

"Mr. Ackerson bought land of Mr. Carr and built the mill 
which commenced running in 1869 and has run ever since. While 
walking on the beach one day thinking about what name to give 
the place Mr. Ackerson met 'Chief Spot' from the Puyallup 
Indian reservation. Stopping him and pointing to Mount 
Rainier he said: 'What do you Indians call that mountain?' 
'Tacoma,' replied Spot. 'There, that shall be the name of the 
place,' declared INIr. Ackerson. 'But what do you Indians under- 
stand by thai name, Mount Tacoma?' 'It means the big mother 

"Mr. Ackerson then communicated to the business house with 
which he was connected in San Francisco the fact that he had 
named the place 'Tacoma'." 

Now rises Thomas Prosch, whose advocacy of General 
McCarver, while naturally spirited by his kinsmanship, is marked 
nevertheless by a careful inquiry. 

Vol. I— S 


"The date of naming by Ackerson," says Prosch, "is said to 
have been October 26, 1868, presumably this walk on the beach 
was on that day. There are certain objections to this story which 
entirely destroy it." 

JNIr. Prosch then asserts that the beach near the mill was so 
miinviting that few persons ever used it unless compelled to do so. 
He says the mountain itself could not be seen from "any point 
on the beach within about a mile of the mill." Mr. Prosch further 
asserts that General Spot could not talk English at that time and 
Ackerson could use neither the Indian language nor the Chinook 
jargon; he adds that Mr. Ackerson was not in Tacoma on the 
date mentioned but was on his way to San Francisco. 

If Spot did not know the language then he learned it with 
some fluency soon afterward, if the following story, told by 
Thomas L. Nixon, may be accepted : 

"Spot was a Catholic, and sometimes when the priest was 
absent on a Sunday, Spot would hold the services. One Sunday 
I, with others connected with the railroad surveys, was up the 
valley and dropped into the church when Spot was in the 
midst of a prayer. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the white 
men, and deeming it prudent or complimentary to direct the 
Almighty's attention to the visitors, his prayer took a turn some- 
thing like this: 'O Lord, the Indian doesn't have a fine church 
as the white man has ; the Indian doesn't have fine red carpets on 
the floor as the white man's church has; the Indian's church 
doesn't have fine wallpaper like the white man's church, and it 
hasn't a tall steeple, but O Lord, the Indian doesn't give a damn 
as long as the heart's all right'." 

Mr. Prosch attempted to clarify the situation in 190.5 by 
procuring statements from Mr. Hadlock and Mr. Steel. 
Mr. Hadlock's statement says: 

"Just before starting for Portland General McCarver got 
Mr. Ackerson, myself and Starr together and, directing the con- 
versation to us all, asked how we would like the name 'Tacoma' 
for the town. I readily agreed to it and so did ^Ir. Ackerson. 
I had no objection to the name, but would have agreed to it 
anyway as I considered General McCarver the principal pro- 
moter of the town and that he had the right to give it such name 



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Asron. LE>rox and 



as suited him. We felt no particular interest in the town at that 
time. Our interest was in the mill. Not so with Mr. Starr. He 
had money invested in land there on account of the prospects of 
the town. He hesitated somewhat, but did not object to the 
name. This is tlie first time I had heard the name Tacoma, and 
I believed General ^McCarver to be the author of it." 

Mr. Steel's statement says: 

"We concluded that Commencement was too long a name, 
and at the suggestion of General McCarver we changed the name 
to Tacoma. Neither J. W. Ackerson nor any other person had 
anything to do with naming the place 'Tacoma' so far as I know. 
The name was decided uj^on by Mr. Starr, General JMcCarver 
and myself. In the offices of the First National Bank, Portland, 
and as I have said, at the suggestion of General McCarver, who 
informed INIr. Starr and myself that that was the Indian name 
for Mount Rainier." 

AVhatever influence oNIr. Ackerson may have had in impress- 
ing the name Tacoma on his partners really had little to do with 
the case, as thev were interested in the mill and not in townsites. 
Little matter how desirous they might have been to have chosen 
the name for the town, it was beyond their power to do so with- 
out the consent of Starr, Steel and oNIcCarver. McCarver was 
regarded as the active figure in the promotion of the town and it 
was his duty and privilege to fix the name, with his partners' 

A further argaiment against the Ackerson case is that in the 
deeds which Ackerson prepared for the transfer of lands to his 
mill company in October and November, 1868, which it will be 
noticed is later than the alleged date of the General Spot inter- 
view, he did not use the word Tacoma, but described the lands in 
each of the deeds as beino' "in Commencement Bay." 

Job Carr's version, published many j^ears after the town was 
named, follows: 

"We had some dispute about the name. General JNIcCarver 
wanted to call it 'Commencement Bay,' but I did not like that 
name, nor did JNIr. Ackerson. Then some one thought about 
naming it 'Sitwell,' after the old Indian chief at the reservation, 
but while we w^ere discussing it one day my son said, 'Why don't 


you call the town after the Indian name of the mountain?' 
'What is that?' was asked. 'Why, "Tacoma," ' was the reply. 
'That's as pretty a name as ever I heard,' said Mr. Ackerson. 
'Let's call it Tacoma.' We agreed on that name." 

In the summer of 1869 the townsite promoters employed 
surveyors and 31 blocks were laid out. The most of the lots were 
50 by 120 feet, 12 to the block, and 20-foot alleys were jDrovided. 
Streets leading from the Sound were 100 feet in width, and they 
Mere named White, Steel, Carr, JNIcCarver and Starr. On the 
maps and elsewhere "Steel" usually is misspelled, a final "e" 
being added. The streets running parallel with the bay are 80 
feet wide ; they were numbered. White Street was named after 
the surveyor, Charles A. White. 

August 10, 1869, Steele and Starr acknowledged, the plat 
"of the town of Tacoma, Washington Territory." 

Yet that does not entirely dispose of the matter. Xo less an 
authority than Henry Sicade remembers quite distinctly of 
General Spot telling some thirty-five years ago the same story 
that Ackerson told. At that time "Spot" could speak English 
with some fluency. He described with considerable detail his 
meeting of ^Ir. Ackerson, of Ackerson's inquiries, and of his own 
replies, and he was quite certain that he and Ackerson had all to 
do with finding a name for the new tow^n. 

"Spot" was an Indian of considerable influence among his 
people. For years he was the Indian priest among the Puyal- 
lups, and he had memonzed all of the prayers, etc., required in the 
services. He had, in fact, a rather remarkable memory according 
to all accounts. He was a large, fine-looking Indian, and he loved 
to lead the Indian parades on the Fourth of July dressed in his 
elaborate military uniform. From this fact he was given the title 
of "General," which he enjoyed to the end of his life. He was 
regarded bv the Indians as a truthful and well-balanced man. 

^Ir. Prosch's assumption is that the alleged conversation 
between Ackerson and General Spot took place on the beach, 
but, if it took place, it probably was on the "beach trail," so called 
because it came along the bluff above the beach. This trail is 
well remembered by old settlers, who often refer to it, and from 
several points along it the mountain could be seen very distinctly. 



McCarver and Job Carr had joined Steel and Starr in dedi- 
cation but they did not then acknowledge, with the result that the 
filing- of the plat was delayed for four months. 

Anthony P. Carr employed A. W. Unthank to survey and 
plat five blocks — 18 lots — and Xovember 30, 1869, he filed his 
plat of the town of Tacoma. Thus Anthony Carr legally is enti- 
tled to the honor of first aj^plying the name "Tacoma" to the 

General ]\IcCarver was much annoyed by this. Carr in 
defense said that certain Portland interests had been at w^ork 
west of the village and w^ere preparing to file a plat, and his filing- 
was made for the purpose of saving the town's name, j^ostoffice, 
etc. Carr's action made it impossible for McCarver to file as he 
had exjjected. He therefore changed the name on his map to 
"Tacoma City." This was filed December 3, 1869. The next 
filing was by William P. Byrd, of Iiis "addition to Tacoma City," 
January 28, 1870. 

McCarver gave no deeds to Tacoma lots ; he gave bonds which 
called for deeds at a later date. The reason for this was the 
proviso agreement concerning price. The buyers bought witli 
the understanding that they would pay much more for their lots 
at the end of five years if the railroad came. The case of John T. 
Nash is typical. His was the only bond recorded. It was filed 
December 2, 1868, a year before the plat was filed. This was the 
first official record in which the name "Tacoma" appears. Nash 
paid $100 for the bond; he was to pay $200 more if the railroad 
came within a prescribed period, otherwise the hundred dollars 
entitled him to a deed. 

March 25, 1869, Job Carr's house became the postoffice. Up 
to this time the mail had been carried from Steilacoom by 
Anthony P. Carr. A little later the postoffice w^as placed in the 
store of the mill company, and W. E. Ackerson acted as post- 
master. When the telegraph wire was extended from Steila- 
coom, early in 1873, the office equipment in Tacoma was set up 
by Anthony P. Carr, who served as operator for about two 
months. He says the first commercial message from Tacoma was 
sent to Seattle ordering the tugboat Blakeley to Tacoma. The 
captain of that craft did not beHeve the telegram, and several 


messages were exchanged before he became convinced that 
Tacoma was on the telegraphic map. In those days the telegraph 
had the tape as well as the sounder. 

May 6, 1869, Tacoma precinct was established with H. N. 
Steele, inspector, and Job Carr and A. C. Lowell, judges. June 7 
the first ballots were cast at Job Carr's house, and in all twenty- 
nine votes were cast. Thirteen of these were for Selucius Gar- 
fielde, republican nominee for Congress, and sixteen for Marshall 
F. JNIoore, democrat. Job Carr was the first notary public. He 
also had served as enrolling clerk in the territorial legislature, 
1867-8, and was given a vote of thanks for the excellence of his 

The first marriage was that of Anthony P. Carr and Miss 
Josephine Byrd, daughter of JNIark, who was interested in the 
saw and grist mill at what is now Custer. The pair were mftrried 
JNIay 20, 1869, in Steilacoom, by Rev. R. Weston, a Baptist 

The first school district, Xo. 11, was established September 
18, 1869, by County Superintendent E. P. Boyle, and A. W. 
Stewart was appointed to organize it. The townsite owners gave 
for school purposes a lot at Starr and Twenty-eighth Streets, 
and citizens contributed $300 to build a schoolhouse. A. W. 
Stewart erected it. J. P. Stewart moved his school from the old 
Baker cabin into the new building. The second teacher in this 
building was INIiss Virginia McCai'ver, and the third, JNIiss Jennie 
Torrence, of JNIaine. A. W. Stewart was the first Sundav-school 

George T. Vining was the first clerk of the school district. A 
few years later the schoolhouse, which was a simple affair, was set 
on fire, and the ten pupils lost all their books. It is supposed that 
this was done in order to get rid of the teacher, John Hipkins, 
whose habits were not consistent with his profession. He chewed 
tobacco while hearing his classes, and spat with frequency but 
with admirable precision. It was said, too, that he even appeared 
in the schoolroom after too many visits to the bowl. In any case 
he was not an ornament to education. The fire, however, did not 
dispose of him. He moved the school to another building. 

In the fall of 1869 a rumor spread over the Northwest that the 



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i ^ 

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Indian reservation was a. myth and that the lands really were 
open for settlement. Without waiting to discover the facts a 
number of whites rushed into the reservation and began the 
process of taking claims. The Indians were so surj)rised 
that' for a time they took no action, but surprise was fol- 
lowed by anger and serious clashes were averted only by the tact 
of Superintendent Ross, who ousted the trespassing whites imme- 
diatel3\ In the Legislature in the fall of '69 a law was passed 
authorizing the building of a territorial road from McAllister's 
bridge in Thurston County to Tacoma and thence to Snoqualmie 
Prairie. D. W. C. Davisson, A. Williamson Stewart, and B. F. 
Brown were named as viewers. Fred A. Clarke represented 
Pierce County in the Legislature. He procured the passage of a 
memorial to Congress, asking that "Tacoma" be included in mail 
route No. 15,400, which was the route including Victoria and 
Olympia. Clarke introduced another bill providing for a road 
from Yelm Prairie to Tacoma. 

The first map on which Tacoma appears was of Western 
Washington, issued by Hazard Stevens, in 1870. 







About the middle of August, 1870, the village heard the 
report that Gen. Hazard Stevens and P. B. Van Trump had 
climbed Blount Tacoma. The story did not receive much credence, 
and was the subject of considerable debate by the wiseacres who 
daily gathered in favorable weather beneath the great maple tree 
that stood in front of Mrs. Steele's hotel. This was the town's 
forum ; here JVIcCarver's operations were discussed and sometimes 
lampooned; political problems were aired, and community bet- 
terments considered. The early settlers believed the ascent of the 
mountain to be wholly impossible. One of the reasons for this was 
the failure of Lieut. A. V. Kautz to reach the summit in July, 
1857, though he made a brave attempt. The hypercritical 
doubters made the most of this af the expense of Stevens and Van 

General Stevens, still living in Olympia, was the son of Gov. 
Isaac I. Stevens, and has had a distinguished career. Born in 
Newport, R. I., June 9, 1842, he came to Washington Territory 
with his father, whom he accompanied, though then only thirteen 
years of age, on hazardous journeys among the Indians with 
whom treaties were being made. He twice crossed the Rocky 
INIountains, once in winter, and on one occasion he rode 150 miles 
in thirty hours to carry important dispatches to the Gros Ventres 
Indians. He entered Harvard in 1860, but left there at the close 
of his freshman year to join the Union army as a private soldier, 



and he was wounded at the battle of Chantilly, in which his father 
was killed. The youth was repeatedlj^ commended and was pro- 
moted for bravery, and at the close of the war he had attained the 
rank of brigadier-general, though only twenty-three years of 
age. He was the youngest brigadier in the Union army. He held 
many positions of honor and trust after his return to the West. 

Philemon Beecher Van Trump, now living in Binghamton, 
New York, was a citizen of Washington for many years. He was 
born in Lancaster, O., December 18, 1838, the son of Phila- 
delphus and JNIarie Louise Van Trump, and the grandson of Gen. 
Philemon Beecher, a member of Congress from Ohio. His 
mother was a cousin of the wife of Gen. W. T. Sherman and of 
James G. Blaine. His father w^as an able editor and lawyer, 
three times a member of Congress, and county judge. Young 
Van Trump studied in Kenyon College and the University of 
New York, and disappointed his father when he concluded that 
he was not fitted for the law. He loved the open too well, and in 
1865, with three companions, he crossed the plains iii a prairie 
schooner and futilely prospected for gold in JNIontana, then tried 
ground sluicing at Idaho City, but his claim quickly "petered 

He and a companion then decided to come to the coast, but 
they were without funds. Good fortune crossed their path in 
the person of a crippled man with three yoke of fine oxen and a 
saddle horse. He said he was returning to Umatilla, Oregon, 
and he agreed to give free passage to Van Trump and his part- 
ner if they would help him with the oxen and do the cooking. 
It developed that he did not own the outfit, which belonged to a 
freighter in Oregon. Shortly after they had left Boise City the 
man said he had forgotten something and must return. He in- 
structed Van Trump and his companion to proceed and he would 
overtake them. But he disappeared, taking his employer's horse 
and collecting a considerable sum of freight money that was not 
his. A few days later they met a prosperous-looking traveler, 
who offered them $700 for the oxen and wagons. The property 
not being theirs they refused to sell, came on to Oregon and, after 
some search, found the owner of the outfit, who was delighted to 
recover it. They walked to The Dalles where Van Trump sold 


his revolver for enough money to pay their boat fare to Portland. 
After working at whatever he could find to do for several months 
he determined to go to San Francisco, but he did not get a boat, 
and finally he walked to the Sacramento River, where he took a 
boat for his destination. There he earned enough to buy a ticket 
by way of Panama for the east coast and returned to his home. 
But in 1867, his brother-in-law% INlarshall F. Moore, was appointed 
Governor of Washington Territory, and he returned West with 
the Governor and his family, and became Governor Moore's pri- 
vate secretary. Governor Moore died in 1870. In 1873 Van 
Trump married Cynthia Shelton, daughter of Levi, a well-known 
pioneer. He ranched for a time, and was for ten years post- 
master of Yelm, where he kept a general store. His wife and 
daughter, Christine, both died in 1907. Christine Falls, on Mount 
Tacoma, was named after the daughter. In 1874 he brought a 
boatload of vegetables and fruits from his ranch, seven miles 
below Olympia, to "New Tacoma." He found here a "busy, 
bustling and inspiring scene." Real estate agents were doing a 
land-office business ; many persons were living in tents ; new people 
were coming by every train and boat. His vegetable venture, 
however, w as not a success. He found the new town well supplied 
by the ranchers and Indians in the neighborhood. 

General Stevens and INIr. Van Trump both wrote interesting- 
accounts of their ascent of the mountain. INIr. Van Trump has 
told the story to a number of Tacoma audiences. He is known 
by most of the Tacomans who have spent vacations on the moun- 
tain, and is held in such high esteem by them all that it is deemed 
proper here to include his story of that great adventure, in order 
to preserve it the more securely. Mr. Van Trump's first written 
account appeared in the October, 1900, Mazama, after having 
been read before a meeting of Mazamas in camp on the mountain. 
July 29, 1897. It follows: 

"If it be fitting at all for me to address this goodly company, 
among whom, notwithstanding those who have already spoken, 
there are doubtless not a few distinguished and accomplished 
persons immeasurably better qualified than I to interest you, and 
who could, in addition, ably instruct, it is appropriate perhaps 
that I should speak of the earh^ efforts at mountain climbing 


These two men were the first to ascend Mount Taeonia. 
They made the climb in 1870 and the flag they unfurled on the 
summit is shown. 


,,.• f 


in Washington Territory as connected with this grand peak, inas- 
much as it fell to my lot in company with my esteemed friend, 
Gen. Hazard Stevens, to be the first ones to reach the real sum- 
mit of JNIount Kainier, or Tahoma, as the red man calls it, and the 
first to demonstrate or make known the fact that it is, like several 
of its companion peaks, a volcanic cone ; in fact, that it possesses, 
unlike its sister peaks, a double crater. Before, however, entering 
upon the narrative of my first ascent of this magnificent moun- 
tain, which, through long years of contemplation of it, many visits 
to it, and not infrequent climbings to its lofty summit, I have 
learned to admire, nay love, as much as mountaineer ever admired 
and loved any mountain for its beauty, grandeur and the delight it 
may have afforded him — I want to briefly advert to a peculiar 
characteristic or singular notion of the early American tourist or 

"For many years in the past, and until a comparatively recent 
period, the American blesseu with the adequate means and leisure 
who wanted to indulge his taste for sightseeing in nature or who 
desired to test for himself the alleged delight and fascination of 
mountain climbing, thought it absolutely necessary to cross the 
Atlantic for that purpose, densely ignorant of, or singularly indif- 
ferent to, the fact that his native land is as rich in scenic beauty 
and grandeur as perhaps any portion of Europe, and prolific in 
opportunities for mountain climbing as grand as that of the far- 
famed and classic Alps. Sir Martin Conway, the renowned 
mountain climber and author, artist and scientist as well, has 
been dubbed 'the hero of two hundred peaks,' a distinction earned 
by mountain exploits extending over a period of twenty-five years, 
and having for their theater of action the whole of the Alps, a 
considerable portion of the Himalayas and a not inconsiderable 
territory in Spitzbergen. There is one state in our broad and 
varied Union in which alone Sir Martin might have won the 
sobriquet of 'hero of more than one hundred peaks.' Coloradans 
are proud to claim, and doubtless the claim conforms to the truth, 
that there are within the limits of their state 110 peaks, the alti- 
tude of the least of which is not less than 12,000 feet above sea 
level, and forty of which have an altitude of 14,000 feet or more. 
We are told that INIount Hallett, in the northern part of the state. 


has a summit clad in perpetual ice; that their Mount of the Holy 
,Cross has an altitude of 14,176 feet; that Pike's Peak has a height 
of 14,370 feet, and that their Mount Blanca almost rivals Rainier 
here, its summit piercing the sky at an altitude of 14,400 feet 
above tide water. These Coloradan mountain giants are rein- 
forced by other high peaks of the great Rocky Mountain chain, 
and on our inmiediate coast we have the numerous lofty elevations 
of the Sierras and grand INIount Shasta in California; Hood, 
Jefferson, Pitt, the Three Sisters and Mount Mazama in Oregon ; 
3Iount St. Helens or 'Lou-w^ala-cluh', Adams, Mount Rainier 
or 'Tahoma,' Mount Baker or 'Kulshan' and Mounts Constance 
and Olympus in Washington; while to the north, in the great 
chain that runs parallel to the mighty Pacific, Mount St. Elias, 
higher even than Rainier, lifts aloft its giant peak, still uncon- 
quered, unless indeed one or both of the parties now in the North 
have succeeded in reaching its summit. 

"Happily the exploits of the pioneer mountain climbers of 
our coast, the efforts of the late Alpine Club of Oregon, the 
Sierra Club of California, and later the labors of the efficient 
and enterprising INIazamas, have done much toward dispelling the 
ignorance and indifference that once obtained in relation to the 
mountains and natural wonders of the great West, and have 
latterly called the attention of the outside world to our mighty 
mountains, grand glaciers, beautiful parks, lakes, streams and 
other places of charming resort to be found on the Pacific slope. 
But not alone to the scenic features and mountain attractions of 
the Far West did this ignorance or indifference of the early 
American citizen apply. It applied as well to the resources and 
general character of the country. We know that some of our 
statesmen, in early times, were perfectly willing and content to 
have the great Rocky Mountain chain constitute the w^estern 
boundary of the Union, deeminar all beyond it toward the set- 
ting sun barren and worthless; that even Daniel Webster, when 
he filled the position of secretary of state under Tyler, was at one 
time on the verge of relinquishing our claim to the Northwest 
Territory for concessions or advantages on the Atlantic seaboard, 
that, in the light of today, would appear pitifully insignificant 
compared with the present importance and value of this vast 


region. * * * Theodore Winthrop, in an Indian legend to 
be found in 'Canoe and Saddle,' has indeed pictured a brave of 
the ancient Nesquallies who sought and reached 'Tacobet's' sum- 
mit in quest of the rich stores of 'hiaqua' or precious shells sup- 
posed to lie along the shores of the sj)irit-haunted lake of the 
summit, which venturesome native, for his daring avarice, the 
mountain deity hurled, bruised and stunned, far down the moun- 
tainside, there to lie for years in a Rip Van Winkle slumber, from 
which he awoke an aged, avarice-cured and wiser, if not a better 
Indian. But in this brilliant performance of Winthrop's it is 
somewhat difficult to tell just where the Indian legend ends and 
the paleface author's creative fancy begins. Where we read 
accounts of high mountain climbing in India, Asia or in the New 
World, we ever find that the dusky natives employed as gaiides 
or burden-bearers are loath to climb beyond a certain height, and 
that no persuasion can induce them to invade the summits of 
lofty peaks. 

"The bold and indomitable Caucasian it is who down through 
history has conquered or successfully braved Nature in her angri- 
est moods and most difficult forms, delving in pursuit of her 
hidden secrets to the scorching heat of the bowels of the earth, or 
climbing to heights where eternal winter reigns, and where no 
living creature, save this bold invader, has dared to intrude ; climb- 
ing, climbing, until at last his astounding record is 23,000 feet 
above the sea ; an altitude where the heart labors painfully, where 
the least physical movement is weary toil, where utter aerial stag- 
nation and the weird and oppressive silence make life well-nigh 
unbearable, and where even the mere observing faculties become 
onlv semi-conscious. Such, at least, is the testimony of Sir 
Martin Conway, and such was his personal experience on the 
summit of Pioneer Peak, in the lofty Himalayas. 

"It is pretty well established by the absence of Indian testi- 
mony, and even tradition on the subject, as well as by the well- 
known deterring superstition of the aborigines, that no Indian 
ever made a true ascent of IMount Rainier. The first white man 
to attempt to scale its summit, as far as any authentic record to 
the contrary is concerned, was Lieut. A. V. Kautz, of the United 
States army, afterward General Kautz, who made a brave and 


patriotic record in the great War of the Rebellion. The state- 
ment sometimes met with in the literature of the mountain that 
Doctor Tolmie, in 1833, attempted the ascent and failed, is incor- 
rect. As I take an interest in collecting what reliable data I 
can of mountain exploration, I, several years ago, personallj' 
interviewed Mr. Edward Huggins on the subject of the alleged 
attempted ascent by Doctor Tolmie. Mr. Huggins was a con- 
temporary of Dr. Tolmie and was himself an officer in the employ 
of the Hudson's Bay Company. Mr. Huggins assured me that 
the statement is incorrect; that the Hudson's Bay Companj^'s chief 
factor out here, Doctor Tolmie, did in the year named visit the 
mountain, but that it was on a botanizing tour, and that he did not 
intend or attempt to scale Mount Rainier's summit. The 1857 ex- 
pedition to INIount Rainier by Lieutenant Kautz was and will ever 
remain remarkable in the history of the mountain for three things : 
first, it was the earliest of all attempts to ascend it; secondly, 
although Lieutenant Kautz did not reach the actual summit, fall- 
ing short of it at least 1,000 feet, he clearly demonstrated, as we 
look back at his effort now, the feasibility of attaining it; and 
thirdly, he first established the fact that the United States con- 
tained a real, bona fide glacier, he having published, in a Puget 
Sound pajjcr at that time, and afterwards in a San Francisco 
journal, a description of the main Nesqually glacier. The long 
and trying trip up the mountain and the hardships endured in the 
ascent, for which he was not properly prepared, had a marked 
effect physically upon the Lieutenant. He lost severely in flesh, 
and for a long time after his return to Fort Steilacoom he felt 
the ill effects of the expedition. About a year before the Gen- 
eral's death he made the statement that as a result of the hard- 
ships of his early mountain expedition he contracted a physical 
ailment which clung to him up to that time. 

"Just thirteen years and one month after Lieutenant Kautz 
left old Fort Steilacoom for the mountain. General Hazard 
Stevens and myself started from Olympia, Washington Terri- 
tory, on our expedition — namely, on the 8th of August, 1870. 
I obtained my first grand view of the mountain in August, 1867, 
from one of the prairies southeast of Olympia. That first true 
vision of the mountain, revealing so much of its glorious beauty 


and grandeur, its mighty and sublime form filling up nearly 
all of the field of direct vision, swelling up from the plain and 
out of the green forest till its lofty triple summit towered im- 
measurably above the picturesque foothills, the westering sun 
flooding with golden light and softening tints its lofty summit, 
rugged sides and far-sweeping flanks — all this impressed me so 
indescribably, enthused me so thoroughly, that I then and there 
vowed, almost with fervency, that I would some day stand upon 
its glorious summit, if that feat were possible to human effort 
and endurance. Let not the triumphant and facile climber of 
today, and perchance his equally successful companion of the 
gentler sex, smile too critically over the above strongly expressed 
sentiment, nor wonder immoderately that a feat which is now 
performed with no speciall}^ heroic effort, should have been pre- 
luded with a vow verging in its utterance on religious fervor. 
For be it known that in those early days there prevailed an almost 
universal belief that the heights of Mount Rainier were abso- 
lutely impregnable and that he who boldly expressed an opinion 
to the contrary, or who designed to attempt the feat was looked 
upon as one more abundantly endowed with audacity and fool- 
hardiness than with brains and common sense. The typical old 
settler of that time ('57 to '70) held to his belief relative to Blount 
Rainier wath great tenacity and Avith equal sincerity. To have 
questioned it would have been almost as grave an offense as ques- 
tioning his loyalty to the territory and to have ridiculed it would 
have been equal to casting aspersions on his good citizenship. 

"When Lieutenant Kautz confided to his brother officers at 
the fort his idea about scaling the summit of Mount Rainier they 
laughed at him, and when he actually started out to put his 
Quixotic idea into execution, the old settlers joined the garrison 
in treating the affair as a huge joke or ridiculous farce; and when 
the Lieutenant returned from the mountain, although they gave 
him credit for pluck and endurance and for what he did accom- 
plish, still the fact that he failed to reach the old giant's pinnacle 
only added confirmation to their belief, and the doubting 
Thomases and wiseacres nodded their heads and gave utterance 
to the immemorial ejaculation, 'I told you so!' 

"When I made the acquaintance of General Stevens in the 


latter part of 1807, I learned that he had made a smiilar vow 
about Rainier, and we therefore formed or entered into a com- 
pact to try the mountain together. Circumstances were not favor- 
able for carrvinof out our cherished scheme till the summer of 
1870. Early that season the General met and became acquainted 
with an English gentleman who was a member of an Alpine 
club in Europe and who professed to have had considerable prac- 
tice in climbing among the Alps. He had then recently made a 
successful ascent of INIount Baker, an illustrated account of which 
appeared in Harper's jNIagazine. JNIr. C, being himself desirous 
of trying Blount Rainier, readily agreed to make one of our 
party. We felicitated ourselves very much on this supposed 
valuable acquisition, thinking that with this experienced clubman 
as 'guide, philosopher and friend,' our chances for reaching the 
summit of the mountain would be greatly enhanced. Man in his 
ianorance of or blindness to the future oftentimes regards some- 
thing in the present as of great virtue or signal benefit, w^hich, 
under the crucial test supplied by the coming time, proves to be 
only an evil or a great hindrance. Unfortunately for us in the 
matter of rapid progress and more unfortunately still for himself, 
our new acquaintance proved a clog on the expedition rather than 
an aid to it. JMr. C. did not get as far as the base of the moun- 
tain even, as this narrative will sliow in due course. We hired 
two packhorses of Mr. James Longmire of Yelm, and employed 
him to guide us as far as Bear Prairie, from which point a search 
was to be instituted for a particular Indian with a fund of experi- 
ence in relation to the lower slopes of the mountain and the ap- 
proach to them, and whom we expected to employ as guide. 

"We left Olympia on the 8th of August and traveled comfort- 
ably by carriage as far as the extreme settlements, thirty miles 
east. To this point a number of our friends accompanied us in 
carriages, camping one night with us and returning next day to 
Olympia. On the 9th of August we turned our faces determin- 
edly and hopefully mountainward, Mr. Longmire riding a horse 
and taking charge of the pack animals, the three foot travelers 
bringing up the rear. In those days there was no royal road to 
Rainier, any more than down through the ages there has been 
any kingly thoroughfare to learning. In fact, there was no 


road at all, not even a faint trail. The way was through almost 
impenetrable forests and entangling thickets, over inimmerable 
prostrate logs and along occasional open river bars. The course, 
in the main, was along the Xesqually River bottom, now and 
then leaving it to cross an intervening mountain spur or ridge, 
and many were the times we forded the Nesqually in crossing 
from bar to bar, wading waist deep in the ice-cold water. On the 
evening of the fifth day out we reached and established perma- 
nent camp on Bear Prairie. Our experiences even before reach- 
ing this point proved to us pretty conclusively that our companion 
with a mountain record was going to retard us seriously in reach- 
ing and climbing the mountain. He was extremely conservative 
and deliberative in all his movements, and based his views and 
modeled his style of travel and mountain climbing on the Euro- 
pean plan, lacking the philosophy and tact that would have 
enabled him to modify his views and actions to suit new condi- 
tions and exigencies. To all our representations in favor of an 
energetic campaign against the mountain his one knock-down 
argument was: 'We didn't travel so in the Alps.' He was a 
profound crank on the subject of bathing. If it be literally true 
that cleanliness is next to godliness, then our companion was 
phenomenally near to exemplary piety. Twice a day, with all 
the regiilaritv and certainty with which that division of time 
begins and ends, did our devotee to personal comfort or cleanli- 
ness j^erform his ablutions. 

"If our tent happened to be pitched too far from the Nes-. 
qually to permit of a plunge into its turbulent and icy flood or 
into the less cool and bracing waters of some other stream, then 
the less satisfactory sponge bath was resorted to; but sponge or 
plunge, one or the other, was an absolute sine qua non in Mr. C.'s 
conception of a mountain tour. Now% such a faithful observance 
of the su])posed requirements of a proper hygiene is conveniently 
practicable within the limits of civilization, but on a tramp 
through the 'forest primeval' and over the everlasting hills, when 
time, if not really money, is a matter of almost vital importance, 
such a religiovis observance of them is, to say the least, quite 
inconvenient. The evening bath, when practicable, after the day's 
journey is ended and the duties of camp have been performed, 

-ol. I— 10 


is permissible and all right enough, but it is very rarely that the 
mountaineer — especially a novice — rises early enough to take a 
bath so as not to interfere with the performance of his just share 
of camp duties the prompt performance of which in each case 
insures an earlv start. 

"Another exaggerated peculiarity of JNIr. C. was his habit of 
stopi^ing at almost every stream met with to quench his thirst. 
First drawn from some hidden and hard-to-be-got-at portion of 
his costmne a folding drinking-cup and then resurrecting from 
some similar place of deposit a brandy flask. Each time a small 
portion of the contents of the flask was poured into the drinking- 
cup after it had been partially filled with water. Whether the 
water was thus reinforced simply for the stomach's sake or as 
a precaution against possible evil from frequent change of drink- 
ing water was never satisfactorily ascertained. Indulgence in 
these peculiarities invariably threw Mr. C. behind the train so far, 
often, that he frequently got lost, and much time in the aggregate 
was consumed in recovering him. To these delays was largely 
due the fact that we were five days in making Bear Prairie. This 
prairie, so called, lies southwest of Mount Rainier and is sepa- 
rated from the environs of the latter by the beautiful Tatoosh 
range. It was then a green and refreshing oasis in a scene of 
desolation. The mountains on three sides of it are destitute of 
vegetation and are covered with tall and blackened dead trees. 

"An incident occurred in camp that evening which came near 
proving a tragedy. After supper as we were reclining on our 
blankets, spread ready for the night, we suddenly heard on the 
mountain-side to the rear of the camp a noise like the rending of 
wood. Looking in that direction we saw one of the dead fir trees 
swaying, and as we jumped to our feet to seek safety in flight we 
saw that the tree was rapidly falling in the direction of camp. 
Scarcely had we reached a point six paces from our beds when the 
tree crashed through cam]), almost completely buiying out of 
sight one pair of blankets and injuring others. Had the tree 
fallen in the night, 'after slumber's chain had bound us,' there 
would have been no more climbing for us on the morrow, and it 
would have fallen to some other mountaineers to break the spell 
that for years had kept the heights of INIount Rainier sacred from 
the invading tread of man. 


"Early the following morning, August 13, General Stevens 
and ^Ir. Longmire started out in search of the jn-oposed Indian 
guide. After a rough tramp of twelve miles they found him 
and his squaw encamped in the mountains and subsisting princi- 
pally on diy berries. An appointment was made with Sluiskin 
to appear at the white men's quarters at noon the next day. 
Punctually at the hour Sluiskin stalked into camp, followed by 
his squaw with a papoose strapped to her back. A bargain was 
soon struck with the Indian. He was to guide us to the moun- 
tain and provide us with game, if possible, at $1 a day wages. 
IVIrs. Sluiskin was to take charge of camp on Bear Prairie and 
look out for the horse to be left there, her pay to be a stipulated 
amount of provisions (Boston muck-a-muck) . At 1 o'clock P. M. 
on the 14th of August the three mountaineers and their native 
guide w^re ready for their long tramp to the mountain, each with 
a good sized pack on his back, for now they were to bid farewell 
for a time to horsepower. IMr. Longmire was also equipped for 
his journey home on horseback, leading one of the packhorses, 
the other being left to bear home our camp belongings on our 
return from Rainier. 

"Sluiskin, contrarj^ to our expectation, insisted that the proper 
way to reach the mountain was to climb the Tatoosh range, follow 
its course far enough and then descend from it into what is now 
called Paradise Valley. Our notion was to return to the Nes- 
qually and follow it up to its source in the glacier, and in mention- 
ing this difference in opinion as to the proper route from Bear 
Prairie I am led to digress a little in order to more particularly 
describe Sluiskin, who is, or was, the second in order of the three 
famous Indian guides to ]\Iount Rainier. Sluiskin's costume or 
apparel consisted in a blanket which served the purpose of a coat 
or cloak by day and of a bed cover at night; a coarse shirt and a 
scanty pair of trousers eked out by a pair of buckskin leggings, 
the latter terminating in a pair of moccasins. On his head he 
wore, more for ornament than use or comfort, a cap M'liicli in its 
better days belonged to a private in the army. Tlie small crown 
of the cap had been removed and in its ])lace there had been 
fastened a perforated piece of brass that had probably been part 
of a coal-oil lamp. Fastened to the center of this brass crown 


piece was a solitary upright eagle feather. The brim or front 
of the cap was thickly studded with large brass-headed tacks or 
small nails, the sharp points protruding through the brim about 
an inch and seemed momentarily to threaten his eyes with destinic- 
tion. The Indian is usually supposed to be saturnine, destitute 
of humor and without any appreciating sense of a joke. If this 
be true, then Sluiskin must be regarded as having been one of the 
exceptions that prove the general rule. He was possessed of a 
keen sense of humor and on occasion could wield satire, not alto- 
gether in words, for they were characteristically few, but in most 
effective facial expression and eloquent pantomime. When our 
plans and the object of the expedition were made known to him 
he evidently looked upon it all as a colossal joke. The idea of 
these three white men (two Bostons and a King George man) 
coming such a long distance under the hallucination and the vain 
idea that they would be able to climb the mighty 'Tahoma,' high 
enough to solve the awesome mystery of its lofty and unapproach- 
able summit, was to him evidently the acme or crown of ridicu- 
lousness. 'Long he sat in camp looking from one to the other of 
the mountaineers, and the play of expression on his face spoke 
his thoughts more eloquently than words, especially those of the 
unwieldy Chinook could have done. When he opened his large 
and expressive mouth in soundless laughter, for it was more than 
a smile, it reminded one strongly of the cautionary and silent 
laughter of Natty Bumpo or Leatherstockings as described by 
Fenimore Cooper. 

"Besides being a native humorist Sluiskin was something of 
a financier. We understood in the end why he was so partial to 
the Tatoosh route to the mountain. Although he had never heard 
of the oft-quoted Franklinian maxim, he acted in this instance 
on the theory that 'time is money.' The bargain with him called 
for a dollar a day and, of course, the more days the more dollars, 
and therefore the Tatoosh route had a financial value in Sluiskin's 
eyes, that the Nesqually route failed to present, and we not really 
knowing the facts in the case fell easily into the trap, and then I 
am confident that Sluiskin had in selecting the Tatoosh route 
another object in view that he expected to derive as much satisfac- 
tion from as putting more money in his purse. By the merry 


dance he proposed to lead us in climbing divers and sundry lofty 
peaks of the Tatoosh range, and then taking us down from them 
in an almost breakneck place he expected to take the starch out 
of us, so to speak, and to show us by the time we stood humbly at 
the base merely of the mighty Tahoma, that mountain climbing 
is not by any means boys' j^lay that perchance our fond fancy 
had painted it. 

"Sluiskin with his pack (somewhat heavier than the rest) on 
his back and steadied by a broad band extending from it around 
his forehead, his rifle balanced on top of his head and his two 
hands clasped on top of his gun, led the way out of camj) and 
toward the Tatoosh; our English companion bringing up the 
rear as usual, but now more tardily than ever on account of his 
pack, M'hich was in weight the same as those of the other two 
white men. jNIr. C. lagged so that frequent halts had to be called 
for him to 'bring up.' At last, that afternoon, some time after 
the guide, the general and myself had scaled the first high peak 
of the range and had gone some distance beyond it, JNIr. C. was 
once more invisible and unbailable, and a halt much longer than 
usual was made. Finally Sluiskin was sent back to hasten along 
the lagging mountaineer. After a long absence he returned 
alone, and, with an amused and satirical expression on his face, 
informed us that 'wake skookum ole King George INIan' had given 
up the chase and had deserted us. Sluiskin had gone back as far 
as the first mountain summit out of camp, and from it he had seen 
the laggard, no longer with his face set toward Rainier, but 
turned in the direction of camp on Bear Prairie, toward which he 
was traveling at a pace which was, beyond doubt, modeled after 
the gait he was accustomed to in the beloved Alps. After debat- 
ing the situation for some moments we decided that Mr. C. must 
have given up, for the time being, his design on Rainier, and that 
the best thing for us to do was to push on without him. Sluiskin 
all the time had been watclung us with one of his peculiarly 
amused expressions of countenance which said as plain as whisper 
in the ear, 'One has already fallen by the wayside; you, too, 
though fleeter of foot, in the end will also have to give up tliis 
wild-goose chase.' 

"We now renewed with amended pace our journey, a more 


detailed account of which would add too much to this already 
long paper. Let it suffice for the Tatoosh journey to state that 
we did not finally camp at the head of what is now called Paradise 
or Sluiskin Falls till the forenoon of August 16. After luncheon 
that day we made an experimental tour up the mountain-side to 
determine, if possible, the final line of ascent. We climbed to and 
ascended what is now^ called the 'Cowditz Cleaver,' stopping at its 
upper extremity, from which we could see the west face of this 
high cliff, since known as Gibraltar. The w^ay around the face of 
this high cliff, which forms such a prominent feature of the south 
side of the mountain, to the high mass of ice to the left of it, did 
not look especially easy or promising by any means, but after a 
long and careful study of it from our point of view on the Cleaver 
we felt pretty confident that on the morrow we would be able not 
only to effect the passing of the cliff, but also the ascent from 
there to the long-desired summit of the mountain; so we returned 
to camp in a very hopeful and cheerful frame of mind. That 
evening we completed our personal preparations for the great 

"When Sluiskin saw that we were determined at all hazards 
to try for the summit, his manner underwent a complete change. 
Entirely vanished now was his lightsome and satirical vein, and 
his countenance took on a serious and apprehensive aspect. For 
a long time by the campfire that night did he eloquently portray 
to us the dangers of the ascent and the dire result that must surely 
follow the actual accomplishment of the summit of the mighty 
'Tahoma'; and when he discovered from our replies that it was, 
after all, an absolutely do or die-in-the-attempt affair with us, he 
insisted on our giving him a written paper (' 'tsum papah') to the 
effect that he, Sluiskin, had done his dutv bv us, and whatever 
dire results might follow from our rash undertaking, he would be 
in no wise responsible for it. He assured us that he would wait 
in camp three days for us, and that if we did not return by dark 
on the third day, he, on the following morning, would collect our 
l)elongings at camp and proceed with them to Olympia; and would 
there relate to our 'tillicums' (friends or relatives) , our tragic fate 
on the mountain. The next morning, verj^ earlj^ Sluiskin left 
camp with his rifle. After an earlv breakfast on the 17th of 


August we started on the final ascent. Our alpenstocks, an ice- 
hatchet, 100 feet of rope and two flags were all we carried, except 
a little food in our pockets. We took no blankets, not even our 
coats, for we expected to return by dark that evening. At about 
eight thousand feet elevation and a little to the right of our course 
we came upon Sluiskin. He was sitting in the erect fashion of 
an Indian on a high rock as motionless as though he were a part of 
the rock, his rifle balanced across his knee, and his face turned 
mountainward, gazing fixedly at its summit. As we passed I 
hailed him, but although he looked at us he made no response by 
word or gesture. Evidently he now deemed us two daft mortals, 
to hold converse with whom might bring an evil omen to him. 
We climbed steadily and by early afternoon were creeping safely 
around Gibraltar by the identical narrow and rocky pathway 
which all climbers by the south side of the mountain have since 
traversed with more or less feelings of danger or impending evil. 
We made some narrow escapes from injury b}^ rapidly descend- 
ing stones and chunks of ice as we were cutting steps in the mass 
of snow and ice to the left of Gibraltar. One whizzing stone 
struck my alpenstock and tore it from my grasp. It lodged on 
the Nesqually glacier below, and was not regained till we returned 
from the summit. When we got a little higher than the top of 
Gibraltar we encountered a large crevasse that extended or 
seemed to extend across the whole face of the mountain in front 
of us, and which would have proved a complete and successful 
barrier to our ascent to the summit had we neglected to bring our 
rope. The General, after frequent attempts, finally succeeded in 
lassoing a pinnacle of ice that projected from the opposite wall 
of the crevasse at a point where it rose considerably higher than 
the side on which we stood. Taking hold of the rope in turn we 
swung' partly down into the crevasse and then climbed the strand 
of rope hand over hand till the upper wall of the crevasse was 
attained. We climbed first to the summit of the south peak, or 
southwest peak, unfurling there our flags, wliich the fierce wind 
sweeping over the summit caused to snap or crack with a sound 
like the report of a small pistol; so strong indeed was the win& 
that the last fifty yards of our climb along the sharp ridge of the 
peak had to be made almost on all fours. This peak we christened 


Peak Success, but as we saw that it was not as high as the central 
summit of the mountain we toiled on, till we reached the summit 
of the middle peak, and on turning the crest of it found ourselves 
on the rim of a crater seemingly about three hundred yards in 
circumference. We saw steam or vapor issuing from the rim 
opposite us, and as we crossed over to it detected a strong odor of 
sulphur. Wg found an ice cave, or arched chamber, in the central 
snow of the crater, which evidentlv had been formed bv the hot 
air or steam issuing from the rim of the crater or the floor of the 

"It was now sundown, and as we could not explore the crater 
and descend before nightfall we concluded to spend the night 
in tlie crater. We carried and piled large chunks or blocks of 
ice in front of the cave to break the force of the wind, and still 
within this we built, of the small rocks of the rim, a circular wall 
around the steam jet, and then in this enclosure with our feet 
toward the steam jet we prepared to pass the night with what 
comfort or condition short of freezing we could. The night was, 
to us, a succession of dozes and rude awakenings, the latter occa- 
sioned bv a freezing blast from above and without and then bv 
a swirl of steam scalding our hands and faces. AVhen day at last 
dawned each mountaineer noticed tliat the back of the other was 
white with frost. It should be remembered that we were without 
coats or blankets. To our sur2:)rise, when we got out of our close 
quarters to stretch our stiffened limbs, we found ourselves and 
the whole mountain top enveloped in a thick and blinding mist. 
We now experienced our first real apprehension, for we feared 
that a storm was brewing. Greatly to our joy, however, about 
9 o'clock this mist cleared off and we saw the sun in a cloudless 
sky. We had simply been wrapped in one of the mountain's 
weather caps. We named the middle summit 'Crater Peak' and 
after depositing on a rock of the summit a copper plate with out- 
names and the date of the ascent engraved on it, we started down 
the mountain, deferring on account of the warning weather cap, 
the conquest of the north peak till some future time. 

"In passing over the rotund mass of ice which forms the sum- 
mit of the middle peak and which is now called 'Columbia Crest,' 
we discovered another crater, which we deemed to be about a 


mile in circuit. In descending, we crossed, by means of a bridge 
or passageway of ice on our extreme left, the crevasse we had 
surmounted by using our rope as a lasso. This convenient bridge 
had been hidden from us as we scanned the crevasse from below. 
Down to Gibraltar and around it, and over the long ridge of 
burnt rock now called the 'Cowlitz Cleaver,' we passed in safety, 
and were within less than two miles from camp when I met with 
an unfortunate accident. As we were turning the crest of a steep 
snow bank one of my climbers ( a clumsy device used in the Alps ) 
turned my foot, and I suddenly fell. JNIy body (uncontrollable 
since my alpenstock flew from my grasp as I fell) sped down 
the steep declivity and plowed into the loose, sharp rocks at its 
base. My hands and face were bruised and tlie sharp point of a 
rock tore an ugly gash in my thigh, which bled profusely. I man- 
aged with the General's aid to limp on to camp. 

"As we were sitting that evening motionless by our campfire 
Sluiskin's head appeared above a neighboring snow bank on his 
return from a fruitless search for mountain goats. As he caught 
sight of us, silent and motionless, he stopped and gazed long at 
us and only came forward when w^e called to him. He afterward 
told us that he thought it was our ghosts he saw, for he had de- 
cided that we were dead on the mountain top ; and now he became 
as garrulous in praise of our bravery and endurance (as he re- 
garded it) as formerly he had been in ridiculing us. Now we 
were skookum Boston men, or white Tyhees. 

"The next day, August 19, we started for camp on Bear 
Prairie, but had journeyed less than a mile when my wounded 
limb gave out and I was compelled to halt. It was decided that 
I was to go into camp right there and wait till the General could 
send Sluiskin back with a horse as far as he could bring one. Gen- 
eral Stevens insisted so fiercely that Sluiskin should lead the Avay 
down the stream (now Paradise River) instead of recrossing the 
Tatoosh Mountains, as he wanted to, that Sluiskin guided him to 
camp by that nearer and better route. About noon the next day 
Sluiskin returned to my lone camp with the cheering news that 
he had brought me a horse all the way except about three miles. 
Over the rough portions of the space that separated us from the 
horse's location Sluiskin helped me with great consideration. I 


was no longer in his estimation a presumptuous individual at- 
tempting the impossible, but a brave who had met and conquered 
the terrors of Tahoma. When we came to the i^lace where the 
General had forced him to give up the Tatoosh route, Sluiskin 
pointed it to me the while indulging in one of his favorite laughs. 
He said that the General was the hyas sal-iks and wah-wahed 
hi-u damn. When we reached the horse I mounted with much 
difficulty and had an afternoon ride which, from its torture, will 
never be forgotten. 

"General Stevens in the meantime had moved camp from 
Bear Prairie to the main Xesqually, where the entire party was 
reunited on the evening of the 20th of August. Mr. C. reported 
that in his attempt to scale the first peak in the Tatoosh INIoun- 
tains his pack was torn from his back and rolled down the moun- 
tains out of sight and beyond reach and that he then decided to 
abandon his attempt to reach and scale INlount Rainier. While 
we were yet in the camp the storm predicted by the mountain's 
weather cap that enshrouded us on the 18th came on, and the rain 
fell heavily. When the weather cleared Sluiskin was paid for 
his services and discharged. He bade us all an impressive fare- 
well in turn. When he shook hands with the Englishman he thus 
addressed him, after indulging in one of his Natty Bumpo laughs : 
'Wake skookum oly King George man. Pehalo klatawa copa le 
tete Tahoma. Quanasum tikky milite copa camp,' which may be 
translated: 'Not a strong man nor a successful climber is our 
elderly English friend, for he failed to reach Tahoma's summit, 
preferring the while to tarry in camp.' With this parting shot 
in his old vein Sluiskin turned his steps in the direction of his own 
distant camp, his faithful spouse submissively following after, 
bearing on her patient back her lord and master's youthful heir." 
Thus concludes Van Trump's account. 

Sluiskin's highly developed sense of humor became Avidely 
known. Father P. F. Hylebos was stationed on Cowlitz Prairie 
in the early days and Sluiskin camped near him for a time. 
Father Hylebos says the Indian then had three wives, and was 
considered a well-to-do man. The priest undertook to give him 
a lecture on polygamy. 

"The ffreat white father in Washington doesn't like a man 


who has three wives," said he to Shiiskin, who with a smile replied, 
in Chinook, that he found three a convenient and comforting 
numher, for when he arose in the morning there was a wife to 
put on his right moccasin, a second wife to put on his left mocca- 
sin, while the third prepared his breakfast. 

Shiiskin, or Shu-shu-skin, as some of the old settlers insist 
he should be called, had fought in the Indian war, and his right 
hand was twisted and withered as the result of a wound he re- 
ceived in the battle of Grand Ronde. 

In the autumn of 1915 story- writers from North Yakima 
caused considerable excitement among history students and 
mountaineers by filling the papers with stories to the effect that 
old Shiiskin had been found ; that he then was hunting in Rainier 
National Park with a band of his tribe, and that they refused to 
obey the rangers' orders to comply ^vith the law against hunting 
there. He carried a copy of the treaty which Governor Stevens 
had made with the Indians some sixty years before. 

In the verj^ livelj^ inquiry that followed Shiiskin was inter- 
viewed and he professed to have been the selfsame Indian who 
guided Stevens and Van Trump in 1870. However, an analysis 
of his story and a comparison with the accounts of the climb w rit- 
ten bj^ Stevens and Van Trump at once put an end to his pro- 
fessions. His story indicated that he guided them from the east 
side of the mountain, when in reality the Stevens- Van Trump 
party never was within miles of the country described by the old 
Indian. P. B. Van Trump read the Indian's recital and imme- 
diately condemned it as fiction. David Longmire, who knew the 
old Sluiskin, pointed out the fact that the Yakima Shiiskin did 
not have a withered hand; the Stampflers came fomvard with 
the statement that Guide Sluiskin had lost his life in the Cispus 
River a number of years ago, and it was shown that, were the 
old guide alive, he woidd be about one hundred years of age — 
much older than the Yakima claimant to historic Alpine honors. 

All of these facts did not prevent wTiters all over the country 
from taking up the story, and some of the emotionalists wove 
truly pathetic stories about the alleged rediscovery of a famous 
old Indian who, in spite of what he had done for the whites and 
for mountain lore, was refused a right to hunt in the face of the 


express provisions of the Stevens treaty. The question of the 
rights of Indians to violate the white man's game laws often has 
been before the courts, and in many cases very distinct wrongs 
have been committed against the red men. 

The Sluiskin of the Yakima may have guided a party to the 
mountain, but it was not the Stevens-Van Trump party. He is 
an Indian of substantial character and always has been a friend 
of the whites. He is said to have saved the life of ex-Mayor 
A. J. Splawn, of North Yakima, by warning him of an impend- 
ing massacre several years ago. 







The territory was in a ferment. May 20, 1869, the officers of 
the Northern Pacific Company had let to Jay Cooke & Co., of 
Philadelphia, New York and Washington, a contract for the 
sale of bonds for the purpose of raising the money wherewith 
to build the railroad. The years from '69 to '73 were marked 
with speculative enthusiasm. The country was rich and careless. 
The Northwest was enjoying prosperity. It was the kind of pros- 
perity that invariably precedes a serious depression. The Puget 
Sound country looked forw^ard to very much better conditions, 
as it was known that the branch of the road between the Colum- 
bia River and the Sound would be built very soon. 

Olympia, the "head of navigation" reposed confidently be- 
hind her muddy shores and dreamed dreams of monster dredgers 
that would open channels and with the debris lift the flats above 
the tide and dignify them as "factory sites." Olympia felt that 
her age, prominence and position gave her first call as the ter- 
minus of the line. 

Tliere were then two schools, widely divergent in opinion. 
One maintained that, owing to the cost of hiring towboats to 
bring sailing vessels up the Sound, the railroad terminus undoubt- 
edly would be as near as possible to the Straits of Fuca : tlic other 
argued that already steam was shelving the sailer, and tliat, inas- 



much as water transportation was very much cheaper than rail, 
the raih-oad must stop at that point where it first could meet sail. 

Steilacoom, "so situated that no railroad could come north- 
ward without contact with her," as her philosophers said, was an 
active contender for the terminus, and was doomed in the con- 
flict to great disapj^ointment and to wait forty years for the ful- 
fillment of her visions. Nisqually had hopes. Seattle, then grown 
to be the commercial center of the Northwest, feverishly awaited 
what to lier ambitious inhabitants seemed to be only the comple- 
tion of a perfect syllogism. ]Mukilteo, crouched beneath the 
blufi's, held out the promise of a fathomless harbor. Port Town- 
send and Anacortes and even Whidby Island indulged antici- 
patory joys, the island believing the railroad would bridge 
Deception Pass and make Penn's Cove the western metropolis. 
Rivalry among the candidates was intense. 

Jay Cooke did not desire to join forces with the Xorthern 
Pacific Railroad promoters, and when, after much pressure, he 
made his offer to undertake to finance the adventure he believed 
and hojjed it would frighten them away. He had made a won- 
derful success with the sale of Government securities for the 
prosecution of the Civil war. He held the Xorthern Pacific men 
off for a year before he signed the contract ]May 20, 1869 — a 
contract which was to break of its own weight, and produce or 
assist to produce a 30-day panic that iiiined great firms, pros- 
trated thousands of individuals and caused consternation among 
the 11,000 stockholders in the Xorthern Pacific. 

The railroad was, in part, a Government-directed enterprise. 
Since 1845 various persons had been working on plans for a Gov- 
ernment-owned or Government-subsidized railroad across the 
continent. Asa AMiitney was the first very active advocate. He 
was a Xew York man, and he made speeches all through the east- 
ern states and published much literature on the subject. His 
great enthusiasm led many persons to believe he was insane. He 
had spent a nmnber of years in China and his mind was intent 
upon the great benefits the United States would realize by closer 
communication with the Far East. A great public meeting was 
held in Philadelphia in December, 1846, and Philadelphia mer- 
chants adopted favorable resolutions. Whitney's efforts to con- 


The man who financed the Northern Pacific Railroad across the 




vert his fellow townsmen to his views resulted in disaster. He 
was denounced either as a madman or a great impostor and a mob 
seized the building in which he was holding a public meeting. In 
1848 James Pollack, of Pennsylvania, presented a resolution to 
Congress advocating a survey to the coast and in March, 1853, 
the president appointed Isaac I. Stevens, an army engineer of 
ability and energ}% to carry out such a survey. Stevens soon or- 
ganized his forces. He appointed Capt. George B. McClellan 
to carry out the work from the w^estern end while he himself ad- 
vanced from the eastern. JNIcClellan, as usual, was dilatory. He 
also was careless. His work was not satisfactoiy to Stevens, and 
between them there arose a disagreement that continued with 
some bitterness until, at the opening of the Civil war they met in 
Washington, D. C, and made their peace. The legislative act 
of a few years ago providing for "JNIcClellan Road" is a tribute 
which McClellan does not deserve. In due time those interested 
in historic accuracy will change it. 

The Stevens report, a very comprehensive one, was ready in 
February, 1855, and almost as soon as it was presented to Jeffer- 
son Davis, then Secretary of War, he and Stevens fell out. Davis 
favored the most southerly route to the coast. The slavery ques- 
tion then was approaching its crisis. Davis saw in a northern 
line an expansion of free-soil territory. Stevens pressed forward 
the point that the northern route saved 700 miles, compared with 
the southern, to the Orient. He spent days combatting the alle- 
gations that the northern route woidd be snowbound for indefi- 
nite periods. He lectured and wrote, and some of his statements 
concerning the mildness of the climate on the north Pacific coast 
were attacked as superlative extravagances. The country was 
not then acquainted with the influence of the Japan cuiTent. 

The subject figiu'cd in congressional debates now and then 
through the Civil war period until July, 1864, when Congress at 
last approved a charter. Tliis charter gave immense land grants 
to the building company. These consisted of twenty alternate 
sections to eacli mile, or 23,000 acres to the mile — a total grant 
of 60,000,000 acres. There w^ere thousands of persons who ridi- 
culed the entire enterprise as the dream of fools. It was the cus- 
tom of the time to regard Minnesota and Dakota, Montana, 


Wyoming and Washington as more or less useless wildernesses, 
hopeless for agriculture and of arctic misery in winter. It was 
not until the road had been built through Minnesota that the pos- 
sibilities of wheat-growing became known, and then only through 
the work of General Cass, president of the company, who 
employed a noted farmer to carry out the experiments. 

The cliarter required the company to build a line from Lake 
Superior to Puget Sound and specified that the rails should be 
made in America; it provided that a telegraph line should be built 
and that the company should permit other companies to connect 
with its rails on reasonable terms. 

A large number of Americans, even though doubting the 
value of the country through which the line was to pass, looked 
upon it as a national, patriotic venture to expand trade in the 
Orient, strengthen the nation in a military sense, disturb the 
activities of the Hudson's Bay Company and open a more or less 
large area of free land to settlers. One of the strong reasons was 
urged by General Sherman and other army officers who said the 
railroad would put an end to Indian warfare. And it did, but 
not until after General Custer and his five companies of cavalry 
were massacred at Wounded Knee, as the disastrous finale of this 
expedition's fighting to clear the way for the transcontinental 

Jay Cooke's contract with the railroad promoters provided 
that he should have the authority to send out an exploring party 
of his own to check up the reports already made by the company's 
investigators. One of the members of that party was Samuel 
Wilkeson, Sr., father of Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., who lived in 
Tacoma many years and who died only a few months ago. Wil- 
keson, Sr., was a newspaperman who had had an unusual career 
and had reached distinguished heights. He was for a time Horace 
Greeley's editorial writer and he filled other important journal- 
istic posts. He became the "historian" of Cooke's reviewers, and 
his reports back to Cooke had much to do with the enthusiasm 
which Cooke poured into the enterprise in the years to follow. 
Indeed there is a question whether the financing of the road could 
have been pushed to successful conclusion without the knowledge 
which Wilkeson imparted to Cooke. This enterprise took Wil- 


keson out of journalism and made him secretary of the Northern 
Pacific Company, a post which he ably filled for many years. The 
Town of Wilkeson was named for him. 

Thomas H. Canfield was a resident of Burlington, Vt., and 
his energy had much to do with the actual building of the North- 
ern Pacific. The enthusiasm of Philip Ritz was by no means a 
small factor. In fact, William B. Ogden, president of the Chi- 
cago & Northwestern, whose aid in the enterjDrise was deemed 
necessary, said in after years that he never would have put a 
dollar into the j)roject had it not been for the reports made by 
Mr. Ritz. Ritz was one of the strong characters of the North- 
west, and his interest in Tacoma was especially friendly. 

"In due time," said a letter to Ritz, "and at no distant period 
the Northern Pacific Railroad shall become a fixed fact and when 
daily trains of cars shall be passing between Puget Sound and 
the Columbia River and the Atlantic states, your name will ever 
be honorably associated among the pioneers who have been in- 
strumental in securing public attention to this remarkable route 
and in hastening the actual construction of a grand transconti- 
nental railroad over it." 

This letter was signed by Mr. Canfield, W. Milnor Roberts, 
the chief engineer, M. F. Johnson, W. E. Moorhead and Samuel 
Wilkeson, Sr., after they had followed Ritz for six weeks over 
the Cascades and through eastern Washington in 1869, seeking 
a railroad route. His consummate knowledge of the country 
and of the agricultural possibilities of the sagebrush lands was 
the guide for the railroad builders. Ritz was born in Lancaster, 
Pa., October 5, 1827. In 1850 he came to California and the 
same year to Oregon. He settled in Clarke County. In 1862 
he went to Walla Walla to establish a nurser}^ and among the 
trees he took with him were two Lombardy poplars. From those 
two have sprung a legion. It is estimated that their progeny is 
not less than 20,000,000. Ritz's trees have made miles and miles 
of windbreaks throughout the Inland Empire. 

He was well informed concerning the mountains of the west 
and climbed a number of the peaks. From Mexico to British 
Columbia he knew almost every foot of the countiy. He crossed, 
the Rocky Mountains thirty-three times in his goings and com- 

Vol. I —1 1 


ino's, and twice he crossed the continent by the Isthmus route. 
The first advance camp of the Northern Pacific was estabhshed 
where the town of Ritzville now stands. Ritz bought 4,000 acres 
of land near wliere the town afterward w^as established. Near 
Walla AValla he developed one of the finest homes in the ^Vest 
and a "reat nursery. 

In the winter of 1867-68 he crossed the continent in a stage- 
coach in order to visit Washington City and press the importance 
of the railroad ujion the pubhc. He contributed letters to the 
newspajDcrs and visited many men of consequence. Later he met 
General Cass and JNIr. Ogden on a Columbia River steamer and 
they told him that a letter which he had written to the Helena 
Herald, ^lay 14, 1868, had much to do with their determination 
to put the railroad through. "With Anthony Hyde, he became a 
lieavy property owner in Tacoma and Pierce County and at the 
time of his death he was preparing to concentrate his holdings in 
the city for which he had found a name. He was a Avarm friend of 
C. B. Wright and it w^as at his suggestion that Wright built 
Annie Wright Seminary and Washington College, and contrib- 
uted in other directions to the culture of the community. JNIr. Ritz 
died in 1902. His widow, who was Catharine J. Snodgrass, 
daughter of a judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, and 
his married daugliter, still live on the Walla Walla farm. Some 
day Tacoma sliould erect a monument to Philip Ritz. It has 
been said that his interest in the railroad was due to his paid con- 
nection with it but that is an error. He gave liberally of time 
and money because he had faith in the West, in Washington, and 
in Tacoma. 

But Canfield w^as the man whose hand moved the money. 
After he had become imbued with the Northern Pacific project, 
and when it was vet manv miles from its terminus, it was Can- 
field who ordered land bought for the Tacoma townsite. Can- 
field's active attention was draw^n to the railroad project by Edwin 
F. Johnson, an engineer of great ability, who constructed the Erie 
Canal. Canfield determined that the road should be built, and 
he began the construction of the Chicago, St. Paul & Fond du 
Lac Railroad (now the Chicago & Northwestern), with Johnson 
as engineer. This road was designed as the first step tow^ard the 


west coast. The panic of 1857 put an end to the work. Then the 
Civil war began and Canfield was called to Washington "City 
by the War Department to take charge of railroad operations 
about the capital. 

After the war, interest in the railroad revived. It became 
known that the Perham franchise soon would expire, and that 
there was danger of it falling into the hands of the Grand Trunk 
Railroad of Canada. Perham already had made a ^provisional 
contract with that company. Perham was ill, and in his efforts 
to get the railroad started he had incurred a debt of $60,000 which 
had driven him almost frantic. Messrs. Smith, of Vermont, 
Cheney, of Boston, and Rice, of Maine, hastened to his bedside 
and quickly an agreement was made to pay to him $100,000 for 
Iiis charter. Then began a long and intensive contest to extend 
the life of the charter, and Canfield spent six winters in Wash- 
ington Cit}' laboring with Congress and the Government officials 
in behalf of the extension and a subsidy. The Congress of '67- 
'68 definitely rejected the subsidy plan. Congress dubbed the 
enterprise a "Yankee scheme" because the promoters came from 
the New England states. 

Canfield then determined to interest men of wider influence 
in the idea, and laid it before President Ogden, who listened to 
the argument from 9 o'clock in the morning until long after mid- 
night. Mr. Canfield's story of this interview follows: 

"Long after midnight I felt that he was w^on for the cause. 
I can see him now as he paced the room, completely absorbed in 
the subject. 

" 'How much money will it take to put this enterprise on its 
feet and begin the work of construction?' he asked. 

" 'It will take a gi*eat deal of preliminary work and your 
experience teaches you that it will take a great deal of money,' 
I replied. 

" 'And what are the chances of getting our money back?' 

" 'About one in fifty.' 

" 'And what is your excuse for asking me to place money at 
such a risk?' 

" 'This enterprise is one of the greatest ever undertaken in 
the world,' I answered. 'It is equal to that of the East India 


Comi)any; it is the only continuous charter ever granted across 
this continent from water to water, and with the prevailing senti- 
ment of hostility to railroad grants which is increasing in this 
country, if this charter is allowed to lapse another one will never 
be granted. The road will ojjen an empire now occupied by sav- 
ages, and withal it will be the great highw^aj^ for the trade of 
China, Japan and the East Indies across the continent. It is 
due to the people of this country and to this nation that you 
gentlemen whom Providence has placed at the head of the great 
transj^ortation interests of this country should step in at this 
crisis and use vour influence and advance monev to save this 
magnificent enterprise from destruction.' 

" 'And suppose I put my money in for such a laudable pur- 
pose, what have you to give me or to give others to show for it? 
You have no company. This charter is not the Xorthern Pacific 
Railroad Company's. You have not organized and cannot or- 
ganize under it.' This was true and I simply answered: 

" 'I have nothing to give. I have suggested the names of 
twelve men, including ourselves, whom I believe to be honorable 
men, and whose word once given will serve every purpose. If 
you go in on that basis I believe we can secure these men, if they 
seem to you suitable, and we can pull together until we are in a 
position to organize.' 

" 'It is simply a matter of honor among gentlemen?' 

" 'Exactly," I replied. 

" 'Well, that is certainly a high position on a high and noble 
purpose. I will take hold with you. The charter must be saved. 
Meet me at my office tomorrow and we will lay siege to the di- 
rectors of the Chicago & Northwestern.' " 

That was the turning point in the enterprise and the next day 
a simple "gentlemen's agreement," covering less than two pages 
of note paper was drafted. The tentative company soon was 
formed, but it was to meet with many difficulties. Preferred stock 
that had been issued by Perham appeared at the most unexpected 
times and places. On one occasion when Canfield was in the capi- 
tol building in Washington a man touched him on the shoulder 
and asked for $10,000, at the same time exhibited a parcel of the 
stock. He was a man of influence and he told Canfield that unless 


the money was paid he would change the votes of several senators. 
Canfield then and there had to pay a large part of the amount. 

Then one day in the Senate Senator Conness, of California, 
denounced the project as an utterly impractical one, and it cost 
the promoters $25,000 to send Gen. James Tilton to Snoqualmie 
Pass to make a new investigation. Tilton, at President Pierce's 
direction, had run the line of the Willamette meridian and sur- 
veyed the townships on either side of it. He knew the country. 
He made a fast trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama, procured 
the data necessary, and returned to Washington; the bill was 
called up and passed just two days before the time had elapsed. 

Cooke demanded of the promoters that they make the bonds 
draw 7.3 per cent interest, payable in gold, this for the reason 
that the last issue of bonds he had sold for the Government had 
been of this kind, and they had sold well. Under this order a 
$50 bond drew one cent interest a day. Such a fact could be used 
in a dazzling way before the jjublic. Cooke demanded 12 cents out 
of each dollar's worth of bonds sold; $200 worth of stock with 
each $1,000 worth of bonds sold, and a half interest in all the 
remainder of the stock. Cooke contracted to sell $100,000,000 
worth of bonds. 

Jay Cooke was one of the most brilliant advertisers the United 
States has known. He had unbounded enthusiasm, his optimism 
was contagious and the nation listened when Jay Cooke spoke 
through the press. At once he launched his forces for the railroad 
enterprise. Newspaper articles and advertisements, magazine 
announcements, circular letters, and telegraphic appeals soon 
placed the matter before almost every eye in the country. His 
agents were everywhere, and in a short time the money began to 
pour in. Cooke gave stock away with the bonds at times to en- 
courage investment, but he held power of attorney in all such 
cases, in order to retain his control of the company. 

Ezra INIeeker, the Puyallup pioneer, had a hand in the Cooke 
pul)licity. In 1870 Meeker returned east on a visit, and he took 
with him fifty-two varieties of flowers found blooming in the open 
in the first week in December. His aim was to convince doubting 
Yankee Thomases that the climate of Puget Sound was indeed 
mild, and thus armed with the floral evidence and a letter of intro- 


duction to Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune, he hast- 
ened away. Greeley, always much interested in agriculture and 
the West, received the pioneer very graciously, and commended 
liim to Chairman Ely of the New York Farmers' Club. He ad- 
dressed that organization and showed his flowers, the newspapers 
commented, and the paragraphs fell beneath the watchful eyes of 
INIr. Cooke. Meeker was invited to visit him and a long talk 
ensued. It concluded with Cooke's purchase of about 5,000 
eighty-page pamphlets which Meeker had prepared before leav- 
ing home to be distributed as he traveled about the East. Cooke 
scattered the booklets where they were likely to do the most good 
for the sale of the bond issue. 

Cooke's contract with the railroad promoters called for the 
delivery to the promoters of $5,000,000 within thirty days. This 
Cooke raised by forming a pool in Philadelphia, and he pocketed 
a profit of $1,200,000. 

In 1870 Cooke got through Congress a measure which author- 
ized issuance of bonds secured by mortgage on all property of 
the railroad, including its land grant, this mortgage to be filed 
with the Secretary of the Interior. This gave the enterprise a 
brighter color of Government sanction and guardianship. 

The actual building of the road began in the summer of 1870 
on both the eastern and western ends. Twenty-five miles of road- 
bed up the Cowlitz Valley was graded in that year and the next 
year the rails were laid. In 1872 fifty miles more were built, but 
in August of that year Jay Cooke went before the directors of 
the road with the statement that affairs were in a straitened con- 
dition. Thirty million dollars had been spent on 600 miles of 
road, and there was a floating debt of $5,000,000 besides. Cooke 
later on resorted to the strategy of quietly buying back 90,000, 
if he had sold 100,000, in order to keep the market up. The di- 
rectors went into their own pockets time and again to keep the 
concern off the rocks. Yet to the rocks it was bound to go in the 
end, as it was clear that collapse necessarily must follow the fan- 
tasy of attempting to make a new railroad through 2,000 miles 
of unsettled country pay $7.30 interest on each $100, only $88 
of which had been spent on the road. The moment bond-selling 
stopped, trouble had to follow. 








Ill 1872 JMiirpliy & Harned, of Olympia. published the 
"Puget Sound Business Directory and Guide to Washington 
Territory," which professed to embrace a "complete and thor- 
ough directoiy of Olympia, Steilacoom, Seattle, Port Madison, 
Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, and every town and 
hamlet on Puget Sound." 

Notice that Tacoma was not yet, after four years of existence, 
of enough importance to be indexed with Port Madison and the 
rest. But in the body of the book beneath the caption "Milling 
Towns," Tacoma is thus described: "The first mill town north 
of Olympia is Tacoma, a place of about one hundred inhabitants. 
It is situated on Commencement Bay and is distant from Olympia 
about thirty-four miles. It was established in 1870 (Sic). It 
contains one mill owned by Hanson, Ackerson & Co., one public 
school, a public hall, a hotel and store. The country surrounding 
it is well wooded but further in the interior it becomes open 

After this description it sets out the names of the business 
concerns, as follows: 



Bowers, J., saloon. Gale, J., blacksmith. 

Byrd, W. S., postmaster. Hanson, Ackerson & Co., Imnber 
Carr, A. P., photographer. nuuiufacturers, shippers, deal- 

Carr, J., painter. ers in general merchandise. 

Clendenin & ^liller, general Lansdale, R. A., i^hysician and 

merchandise. surgeon. 

Fuller, J. N., general mer- Steele, H. X., hotel keeper. 

chandise. Stewa^'t, A. W., wagon maker. 

Steilacoom, with six pages of the directory occupied in the 
sounding of her prowess, was entirely out of the mill town class. 
She had more than three hundred inhabitants even yet, though 
her commercial glory already had begun to fade. The directory 
man, with jDrescient eye, foresaw her future when he wrote : 

"Steilacoom should become a fashionable summer resort, for it 
possesses all the requirements, Avith the exception of surf bathing 
* * * elements that should attract those who flee from the 
heat of the cities to enjoy their 'dolce far niente.' When the 
advantages of Steilacoom are known, it will become the Newport 
of the Northwest." 

Seattle and Olympia each had about 1,800 inhabitants in 1872 ; 
Port Townsend, 800, and Vancouver about 1,000. Father Peter 
Hylebos w^as advertising Holy Angels' College of Vancouver, 
and Silas Galliher of Olympia advertised the "Tacomah House" 
as "far the best hotel on the sound." Seattle and Steilacoom had 
roller-skating rinks. 

The authors of the directory were Mortimer Murphy and 
Rev. P. F. Hylebos. Murphy w^as not related to the Murphy of 
Murphy & Harned, but w^as a scientist and traveler, and some 
vears after he was on the coast he went to Paris, where he was 
elected to the French Academy of Science. Father Hylebos who 
about two vears before had been graduated from the University 
of Louvain, in Belgium, was asked by Murphy to assist in the 
preparation of the introduction to the directory proper. In a 
few weeks they produced a volume covering the flora, fauna and 
geology of the Northwest, the habits and customs of the Indians, 
the coal deposits and several other subjects, the literary style and 
scientific data at once giving the volume an unusual promi- 


nence. Only a few of these precious little books remain, 
but there are known to be at least three copies in Tacoma. They 
are owned by Father Hylebos, City Engineer L. H. Nicholson 
and the Ferry Museum. 

The marriage of Howard Carr and Jane E. Bradley, Feb- 
ruary 5, 1872, was of interest to the village as it was in the nature 
of an elopement. The bride had been in the convent in Steilacoom 
and became acquainted with Carr while he was conducting a hotel 
there. The couple went aboard the steamer North Pacific and at 
Port Townsend Captain Ed Starr brought Justice of the Peace 
Pettygrove on board, after which the boat moved out to the 
"high seas." Then the knot was tied with Captain Starr and 
Mrs. Hunt, customs officer, as witnesses. The couple lived in 
Job's cabin for some time, a lean-to being built to accommodate 
them, and a cookstove being bought. Theretofore the Carrs had 
cooked over the fireplace. The bride was the daughter of John 
Bradley who came to California in 1845, and made a small fortune 
which he later lost in a mill at Tumwater. He married jNIary 
Elizabeth Relyea, who had come west with the Elwood Evans 
family. Their marriage was the second in Oregon territory. 
The ceremony was celebrated at "Alki, the New York of the 
Pacific," in 1853, and the bridal couple removed to the Flett place, 
south of Tacoma, where they took a donation claim. Afterward 
they were living on the ^Michael Eustace place, four miles east of 
Spanaway, when the Indian war was in progress. One day 
Bradley was breaking oxen when his dog warned him of danger. 
Eight Indians were discovered prowling about the place. Jane 
Bradley, afterward Mrs. Carr, was about a month old. When 
the Indians began firing ]Mrs. Bradley ran from the field where 
her husband was at work and hid in the top of a fallen tree. 
Some of the Indians pursued her and though they came so close 
that the mother almost could have touched them, they did not find 
her. A whimper from the tiny babe would have meant death 
to both. 

Meantime Bradley, carrying his little son, was shot at several 
times but he reached the cabin with no more serious wound tlian a 
missing thumb which a bullet had clipped off. His little boy was 
shot through the leg. Bradley began returning the fire under 


cover of which Mrs. Bradley, with her baby, reached the house, 
and then husband and wife poured lead at the Indians with such 
rapidity that they withdrew. The Bradleys then hastened to Fort 

Pow-wow, the Indian who led the attack on the Bradleys, was 
arrested and was shot by Sergeant JMcElwin while trying to 
escape from Fort Steilacoom, and is buried in the old graveyard 
at Fort Steilacoom. Caleb (usually known as Calvin), now 
county treasurer, and Howard Carr, Jr., a lumberman, are two 
of the five children of Howard Carr and Jane Bradley Carr. 
Howard Carr, Sr., was the first marshal of Tacoma. After- 
ward he served in the city council and w^as holding that 
position when he died, December 13, 1891. Mrs. Carr still 
lives, and among her treasures is the old saw with which Job Carr 
built the first house in Tacoma. 

In those days the Good Templars flourished, and there was a 
fine field for its ministrations. ^Irs. Carrie F. Young was com- 
missioned in September, 1871, to form such a lodge in Tacoma. 
She called a meeting and in a short time Chebaulip Lodge No. 
42 was organized, and it prospered fairly well until wrecked 
by the hard times four years later. Alexander Dumas, after 
whom Dumas bay was named, and John Reagan were the leaders 
in this lodge's work, and Reagan, as the representative of Che- 
baulip lodge, attempted to bring the Grand Lodge session to 
Tacoma in 1872. That body declined the invitation, fearing the 
little village could not properly entertain the delegates. 

The firm of Clendenin & JNIiller carried on a mercantile busi- 
ness in Steilacoom for many years and in June, 1872, they sent 
George W. Kandle to open a store in Tacoma. ^Ir. Kandle 
already was well known throughout the county and the Tacoma 
store at once became popular. In December of the same year 
Mr. Kandle was elected county auditor and his able management 
of that office gave him additional favor in public esteem. In 
after vears he served as countv commissioner, and mavor of 
Tacoma, filling these posts with ability. The Clendenin & Miller 
establishment was the second general store, the first one being that 
of the mill company. Upon being elected auditor jNIr. Kandle 
returned to Steilacoom and remained there until the fall of 1880 


when the county seat was removed to New Tacoma, and he had 
the task of removing the county records. Of the men who lived in 
Tacoma in 1872 only three are known to be living — Mr. Kandle. 
A. P. Carr and A. J . Babcock. jVlr. Babcock is more than ninety 
*j"ears of age. 

The third general store was opened by Louis Wolff who 
leased a lot on the north side of Second, now Thirtieth Street, 
from General McCarver and built a twenty by forty foot struc- 
ture. For the twenty- foot lot he paid a rental of one dollar a foot 
a month and later bought the lot for $18,5. His neighbors thought 
that an exorbitant price. He continued in business for more than 
twenty years. He fell ill and went to California, and he died in 
Oakland December 31, 1896. 

Wages in 1872 were: Blacksmiths and carpenters, $3 to $o; 
boilermakers and machinists, $o to $7 ; plasterers, $3 to $o ; waiters, 
$35 to $40 a month ; wagonmakers and coach builders, $3 to $5 ; 
laborers, $40 to $60 a month; axmen, $60 to $100; teamsters, the 
same; millhands, $35 to $50; bookkeepers, $100; sailors, $35 on 
coasters — $20 on foreign; servants, $25 to $40. Servants were 
scarce, and Chinese men were used in considerable number. 

In 1872 General jNIilroy, superintendent of Indian affairs in 
the territory, decided on a plan which he hoped might teach the 
Indian some of the responsibilities of citizenship. He required an 
annual election of chiefs, with ballot boxes, clerks, judges, etc., 
each election to be preceded by a nominating convention. Some 
of the older Indians are yet chuckling about that, as it w^as merely 
asking them to do what they always had done, without some of 
the formalities. They always elected their chiefs, and a good 
deal of politics sometimes figured, though it may be said to the 
credit of the red man that the good of the whole tribe, and not the 
advancement of an individual, was the force that finally governed. 
It often happened that elections long were delayed while the 
Indians discussed the merits of the candidates. The office sought 
the man. It scarcely ever happened that a man who sought tlie 
office was chosen. 

Polygamous marriages among the Puyallup Indians prac- 
tically had been abandoned })v the time Tacoma had been started, 
though there were still a few men living with plural wives. A 


plurality of wives meant that the head of the family was an impor- 
tant man. Often the leading chiefs had two, three or four wives. 
Sometimes a chief was obliged to take more than one whether he 
desired to do so or not. This grew out of the same neighborly or 
sometimes cowardly spirit that inspires a Euro]3ean monarch to 
send his sister or his daughter to marry the monarch of an adjacent 
realm — the desire to establish lasting friendly relations. If a 
Snoqualmie chief wished to unite more closely his tribe with the 
Puyallup tribe, he sent a good-looking bride to the Puyallup 
chief. There was a more or less frequent demonstration of good 
will in this way, and the custom sometimes extended to the im- 
portant men who were not chiefs. The marriage tie was strictly 
regarded. The continence of husbands and the fidelity of wives 
were marked characteristics of the Indians before the white man's 
ways began to contaminate them. In the early days a wife's 
infidelity usually meant death at her husband's hands. 

Marriage generall}^ w as on a basis of barter, the groom paying 
the father of the bride. If the wife died within a given time her 
father or kinsmen sometimes were expected to replace her with 
another, if the grieved husband demanded it. The wives for whom 
high prices had been paid gloated over it, and those who had been 
sold cheaply were ridiculed. When Rev. Father Hylebos was 
working among the Indians in the early days he not infrequently 
heard Indian women chiding one another over their own valua- 

"My father got a gun, two cows and a horse for me," one 
would say, "while your father got nothing but a cow and two 
deerskins for you." 

That old Indian couple maundering down the street, man 
slowly walking ahead, squaw following a few feet behind, both 
stolid and silent — what is their life at home? Have they ever 
smiled, ever spoken to each other? Does anything interest them? 
Many whites have asked these questions, but they are not often 
answered. While it is true that in most cases the Indian wives 
subordinate themselves, jet when away from the scrutiny of white 
men's eyes, they chatter and laugh, and coo over their babies as 
white mothers do, and husbands and wives live on terms of con- 
geniality. The Indian as the white sees him, generally speaking, 


is not the Indian in his natural state. He is wholly human, loves 
his joke, adores his children and has a wholesome respect for his 
family tree, though he never talks about that, if he is a wise 
Indian. Indians have no patience with boasters. 

The mothers did most of the child-training, though the boys 
were taken in hand at an early age by their fathers, to be tough- 
ened to endure the hardships of the chase and to resist disease. 
Here on the bay when the white settlers came, it was the custom 
of the fathers to awaken their little boys before daylight, winter 
and summer, carry them to the water and pitch them in. Some- 
times this bath was required twice a day. After it the fathers, 
with a smooth stone or stick rubbed the little bodies till they glowed 
from the friction. This treatment began when the boy was three 
or four years of age. It was a Spartan treatment but it produced 
Spartans. It enabled the Indian to sleep in the woods night after 
night without shelter or blanket, if need be, and neither rain nor 
snow disturbed his healthy slumbers. 

The Indians were not often misled by agitators. Usually they 

contemplated verj^ carefully before taking an important step and 

not often were the injunctions of the old chieftains ignored. The 

children were taught to listen to the old men and to follow them ; 

but they also were taught that no matter how lowly their own 

position, they had within themselves the forces that would enable 

them to stand before kings. The Indian philosophy was most 

democratic. A chief's son had no greater rights than the son of 

the lowliest and no unusual attention was paid to him until he had 

proved himself. The wealth or political position of the father 

was of no advantage per se to the son. And not infrequently it 

happened that a tribe would refuse to permit the chief's son to 

succeed to the honors. It was no perfunctory and empty honor 

to be chief. The man who attained the position was compelled to 

show distinctive brain qualities. 

Among the Indians the squaws did, and still do, most of the 
talking. Just before the outbreak of the Indian war it was noticed 
by the settlers that the women were chattering with unusual spirit. 
The whites do not see mucli of the finer side of the squaws. The 
stolid woman sitting on the curb selling blankets may become a 
rather vivacious and merry being when, with her own people she 
is back in a swamp preparing her reeds. 


And the Indian mother! Patient and affectionate, yet firm, 
she never cries out nervously at her child, never nags. She exer- 
cises a wonderM control that mystifies the white mother. Her 
fidelity to husband, home and duty, when not weakened in will by 
the white man's whiskey, is admirable. 

An earthquake of frightening severity shook the Puget Sound 
region at 9:50 o'clock, on the evening of December 14, 1872. 
Tacoma, Steilacoom, Seattle and other places reported alarming 
tremors. The first shock, which jolted buildings considerably 
was followed by a second a little less severe. Each lasted about a 
minute. There were several slighter shocks besides, and the earth 
continued to tremble at intervals for more than a month. In the 
Puyallup Valley large trees were thrown down. January 22 a 
series of vibrations continued for more than nine minutes. Win- 
dows were cracked and chimneys demolished. Settlers said the 
crashing of timber could be heard in all directions. In Yakima 
City the shocks were severe. The inhabitants thought the Indians 
were attacking the town and rushed from their homes armed with 
guns. The first shocks were accompanied by a deep rumbling. 
The Steilacoom paper said that a peak of the Olympic range 
"has been sending forth at intervals dusky columns of smoke which 
produced quite a contrast to the snowy surroundings." 

The waters of the Puyallup River lashed the banks furiously, 
and the Indians were greatly alarmed. They gathered in their 
medicine houses and appealed to their Tamanamus to allay the 
terrestrial commotion. The shocks slightly disarranged the ma- 
chinery in some of the mills. A few persons were made quite ill, 
cattle were stampeded, and one old settler declares that all the 
birds left the country for several weeks. , 

County Superintendent J. V. Meeker's report for the year 
ending December 31, 1872, showed .53.5 persons between four and 
twenty-one years of age in the county, and only a 20 per cent 
school attendance of those between eight and sixteen years of age. 
There were twelve school houses in the county, and $1,9.59.10 was 
paid in salaries to teachers. This was an average of $4<3..50 a 
month. The text books in use were: Readers and spellers — 
Town's, Wilson's, McGuiFy's and Saunders'; arithmetics — Ray's, 
Dacee's and Robinson's; grammars — Clark's, Bullion's, Smith's, 


Pineo's and Kerl's; geographies — Montieth's, Cornell's, Mc- 
Nally's and Mitchell's; histories — Quackenbos' and Swinton's. 
In some cases two or three kinds of books on the same subject were 
used in one school ; the variety was so great that merchants refused 
to handle school books for sale. 









It was the belief that the Lake Superior and Puget Sound 
Land Company was a sort of "ring within a ring" as one of the 
newspapers put it and that that company was attempting to force 
the building of the railroad a greater distance north than the rail- 
road officials actually desired, this for the purpose of acquiring 
additional lands, and there was talk of appealing to the Secre- 
tary of the Interior the moment the line reached tidewater. "The 
duty of the Secretary of the Interior," exclaimed the Puget 
Sound Express, of Steilacoom, "would be to step in with his 
authority just when the road reaches Steilacoom; for then the 
company has got to navigable waters, with good harbor and better 
natural advantages than can be found elsewhere, and need not 
'run a little farther down,' taking from the people forty sections 
of land for everv mile 'farther down' thev run. And if they 
should succeed in passing Steilacoom, they will make the North- 
ern Pacific a costlier road than Jav Cooke and Barney contem- 
plate, as every foot of land below this city has to be bought from 
the Puget Sound and Lake wSuperior Land Company. The lat- 
ter company deserves to be 'played out' by the Northern Pacific, 
which can be accomplished by making Steilacoom the terminus." 

Relief was expressed when Thomas H. Canfield was dropped 




'Lthj^i l\:_ 


from the directorship of the raih'oad, and it was announced un- 
officially that the purpose was to free the company from the 
"clutches of the land company." General Cass, it was reported, 
took the presidency of the company only on condition that rail- 
road men and not land speculators should huild the railroad and 
determine upon its routes and terminals. 

It was the aim of the railway company, for the henefit of its 
land department, to make a city of Kalama^ and much money 
was spent in that effort. The railroad building proceeded north- 
ward for more than two years before the name of the northern 
terminus was announced. Olympia thought she had a definite 
assurance in 1871, but this was later withdrawn. 

In October, 187*2, General Cass, just elected president of 
the company, and ^Messrs. Ogden, Billings, Canfield, Wright, 
Windom, Samuel Wilkeson, Sr., committeemen appointed from 
the board to choose the terminus, for a week sailed about the 
Sound on the steamer North Pacific, with W. Milnor Roberts, 
the railroad's chief engineer. Already pinched by a lack of funds, 
the committee desired to find a terminus as quickly as possible. 
They wanted a good harbor, open places for trackage and 
wharves, and an abundance of cheap land, as the townsite promo- 
tions in connection with the railroad building were important to 
financial success. The committee examined Ohmipia, Xisqually 
and Steilacoom, and found objections to all; they looked Tacoma 
over, and moved on to Seattle, which they rejected because of its 
declivities and the lack of room for stations and trackage. They 
favored Tacoma, but determined to reserve final decision until 
they had returned to Xew York. Then they sent R. D. Rice, vice 
president of the company on the coast, and J. C. Ainsworth, who 
later became managing director on the coast, as commissioners 
to make another thorough investigation and report. These men 
came to Steilacoom where they discussed the various sites, and at 
length concluded that Tacoma offered the best opportunities. 
Meantime McCarver had been buying lands — some two thousand 
acres in all, presumably for the railroad's terminal uses. He had 
taken over the Judson, Galliher and other properties. He was 
buying these for the purpose of subsidizing the railroad, and this 
sul)sidizing had to be done as Seattle and other localities had 

Vol. 1—12 


been making' bids of an extravagant cbaracter. On the 30th of 
June, the following telegram had been sent to President Cass by 
the eommissioners : 

"The situation is substantially this: At Tacoma the Puget 
Sound Comi)any have about 1,100 acres by purchase; bonded 
donations to Puget Sound Company and our company about 
l,oOO acres; bonded to purchase 60 acres mill property (now 
Tacoma Mill Company) for $100,000 gold. This whole territory 
in solid body amounts to about 2,700 acres with unbroken w^ater- 
front of over tw^o miles and riparian rights to tide flats of say 
600 acres to which can be added company lands in vicinity includ- 
ing natural parks with beautiful lakes enough to swell the amoimt 
to, say, 10,000 acres. 

"Seattle offers about 2,.500 acres and 450 lots in city limits, 
some 6,.500 acres in vicinity, $60,000 cash, 4,800 feet front on 
navigable water and release of riparian rights of tide flats near 
city, title to pass on completion of road to that point. City 
limits very large. To carry out plan of a city company on 
$2,000,000 basis with any prospect of success, as now advised 
shall unhesitatingly decide in favor of Tacoma. The mill prop- 
erty to be purchased cost them more than is asked for it, but it 
is vital to success of enterprise as it covers half mile of best water- 
front. Please answer. 

"R. D. Rice, 


July .3d, General Cass telegraphed to jNIessrs. Rice and Ains- 
worth : 

"Have telegraphed you today in cipher in effect that executive 
(committee) coincide in opinion with you, as to location of ter- 

A few davs later a delegation of Seattle men moved on Steila- 
coom with the hope of convincing the commissioners that a vital 
mistake would be made if Seattle were not chosen as the terminus. 
The visit aroused both the humor and sarcasm of Editor Dickens 
of the Steilacoom Exj)ress. The paper of July 17th said: 

"Seven of the Seattle delegation came up on the Al, fast 
sailing, big pressure steamer Zephyr on Friday last with their 


hats full of blanks to make their 'last and final' bid for the ter- 
minus. The delegation comprised the 'big' men of Seattle, and 
as thev marched in double file arm in arm through the streets of 
Steilacoom to Hotel de Rhinehart to meet the locating commis- 
sioners their lofty beavers glistened in the noontide sun like an 
African's phiz in a field of cane. They came, they saw and — 
that was all ; for the heads of the locating commissioners were too 
well balanced to lose their equilibrium on meeting this august dele- 
gation of sreat men from the town of sawdust and fleas." 

July 14, 1873, the commissioners sent from Kalama the fol- 
lowing telegram which reached Tacoma at 2 P. M. : ^ 

"To Gen. M. M. McCarver: 

"We have located terminus on Commencement Bay. 

"R. D. Rice, 



That telegram, of course, was received with joj^ by those who 
were promoting townsite affairs. But their joy became gloom 
when the formal notice was sent out by the commissioners. This 
notice said: 

"The commissioners this day (July 14) announced that the 
terminus of the main line of the Northern Pacific Road on Puget 
Sound had been established at a point on the south side of Com- 
mencement Bay in township twenty-one (21) range three (3) 
east of the Willamette meridian, and communicated this result 
to the parties interested." 

The two Starrs, L. M. and E. A., having taken over Steel's 
interests, they and McCarver had expected, and there seems 
to be some ground for the reasonableness of their expectation, 
that the terminus would be in the Tacoma they were promoting, 
or what is now known as Old Tacoma. But the railroad company 
fixed its real terminus at what became New Tacoma, too far away 
to be of great immediate benefit to the town that had been started, 
and was instead a body blow to its aspirations. Had ^IcCarver 
barkened well to the advice of Nicholas DeLin, when he inter- 
viewed that early settler, in Portland, in 1868, he would have 


been in the position, possibly, of procuring a fortune. DeLin 
had urged JNIcCarver to choose his townsite as close as possible 
to the head of the bay. McCarver discarded that, however, for 
the deep water possibilities of the Old Town harbor. 

In after years C. P. Ferry, discussing the new townsite said: 

"The center of trade at Tacoma would have been at Old Ta- 
conia had it not been for one little thing. The engineer head- 
quarters in preliminary survey of the 'New Town' townsite was 
in a log building situated on the side of a high knoll which we 
called 'JNIount Ainsworth,' situated at what is now about the 
corner of Xorth Eightli Street and Yakima Avenue. 

"When the engineers commenced work they found that their 
headquarters were located on ten acres of land that belonged to 
outside persons. The company owned 4,000 acres of townsite, a 
solid body from 'Old Town' to the head of the bay, all except 
that ten acres, and thev wanted that because it would be the most 
central part of the town. They offered to buy it of us, for I 
owned five acres of it. and we declined to sell. 

"The next day they began building their first shanty at what^ 
is now the corner of Ninth and Pacific Avenue, for their en- 
gineers. They blundered in doing so; we blundered in not sell- 
ing. The town would have gro^m much more rapidly if it had 
been centralized near Old Town. 

"For vears the town suffered from it in many ways. For 
years the trains ran direct to the wharf and no one passing 
through saw anything of the town except the Chinese shanties 
and the wharf, and they were invariably informed at other points 
that the}^ had seen all of Tacoma." 

Gen. Hazard Stevens who acted as right-of-way agent for 
the company, is of the opinion that it was not the intention 
to come into Tacoma with the line. Tlie first news of the failure 
of Jay Cooke h Co. came in a telegram to Capt. J. C. 
Ainsworth, the message saying that $50,000 and no more would 
be supplied to carry the line to tidewater. At that time the work 
was still twelve miles from Tacoma and General Stevens had 
bought right-of-way to the eastward of Tacoma, nearly as far as 
the town of Puyallup, and apparently it was the intention to 
build the line on to the northward. 


"Judge Rice, vice president of the road," says General 
Stevens, "and Gen. John W. Sprague, general manager on the 
coast, took charge of the negotiations for the acquisition of the 
Tacoma site. As they were unable to make arrangements satis- 
factory to themselves with General JNIcCarver who owned the 
site of 'Old Tacoma' they located the town farther up the head of 
the bay." 

It is the opinion of Northern Pacific Railroad men who have 
looked into this subject with considerable care that it was the aim 
of the builders, for many months before the announcement of the 
selection of the terminus was made, and long before the Cooke 
failure, to come into Tacoma and make it the terminus. They 
believe \he original plan was to strike the valley by an easy grade 
and enter Tacoma on a water level. Financial considerations 
compelled them to choose a shorter route, though it involved the 
steepest grade between the Sound and the Columbia River. 

General Stevens had no difficulty in procuring right of way 
except for about twelve miles along the Cowlitz River. The road 
paralleled the river, running on a ridge. Back of this ridge the 
land was low and subject to overflow. The farmers therefore 
built their houses on the ridge "and the line went through every 
man's dooryard, and was pretty sure to hit, if not his house or 
barn, at least his pigpen," as General Stevens puts it. In many 
places right of way was given, or was sold for a nominal figure, 
but the ridge farmers had an appeal of their own. They found 
their hill surrounded by water to be profitable. 

While it was said at the time that the destination of the line 
was Bellingham, and railroad employes believed that town would 
be the terminus, the telegrams of June 30 and July 3 seem to put 
at rest the idea sometimes exj^ressed that Tacoma became the ter- 
minus by accident. The statement frequently is made that tlie 
company was cutting a right-of-way and grading from Hillhurst 
toward Puyallup, with the expectation of going on to Seattle 
leaving the Village of Tacoma entirely out of consideration. It 
is true that the timber was cut and some work done on the Hill- 
hurst project, and even today the rift in the timber can be seen, 
though 18-inch trees have grown upon it since. The fact is tliat 
the builders planned to reach the Puyallup Valley, then send tlie 


main line to Tacoma by a water grade, and continue from the 
valley a line to Seattle. Shortage of money made this impossible. 
June 24 Messrs. llice and Ainsworth received this telegram from 
President Cass: 

"Hold construction in check so as to avoid work beyond 
terminus when fixed." 

The facts are clear that the commissioners, having in view the 
acquisition of suitable terminal facilities, as well as a townsite 
project of hopeful prospects, chose Tacoma deliberately, simply 
because there seemed to be more money in it; the water front 
offerings were very much better than Seattle guaranteed; the 
townsite was far less expensive to develop. The commissioners 
found fault with the swamps and hills of the Seattle townsite. 
They were driving a sharp bargain; each of the candidates for 
the terminus was offering the best it had, and on the face of the 
record, it is clear that the proposal which Tacoma made was 
superior to that of any other. 

^IcCarver and his partners declared they had been betrayed 
when the lands they had bought for the railroad were turned over 
to the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Land Company (after- 
ward the Tacoma Land and Improvement Company) for the 
buildinp- of a new town about the terminus. They seem to have 
attributed the fixing of the terminus on the "south side of Com- 
mencement Bay" to some sinister purpose. But in the light of 
after development and particularly when more recent growth is 
considered, it appears plain whj^ the engineers made the selection. 
The "Old Tacoma" situation offered nothing like the room re- 
quired for passenger stations and its accompanying trackage. It 
would have been sufficient for the beginning, but it offered no such 
future as the engineers in their dreams foresaw for the needs of 
commerce and of the city. It was McCarver and his partners who 
made the mistake; not the railroad company. The three men 
profited very little, if anything by their townsite venture. In 
many cases lots which they had sold in "Old Tacoma," on bonds, 
were reconveyed to them and they refunded the purchase money. 
j\Iuch misunderstanding and in some cases ugly charges grew 
out of these dealings. McCarver, who was on the ground and 
the agent for his partners, was criticised by some persons who 

Dominating figure in the first railroading in the territory 


believed that he had misled them, but after all no one had been 
more seriously disappointed than he, and it probably shortened 
his life. 

The railroad company did not procure the Hanson, Ackerson 
& Co. mill property without considerable dickering. Instructions 
had been sent to John N. Goodwin, in San Francisco, to close the 
deal at the best figure possible and June 26, 1873, he called at the 
office of Hanson, Ackerson & Co. where he soon found out that 
Hanson had learned of the probable selection of Tacoma as the 
terminus and had grown cool over the subject of selling. Good- 
win so notified ^Messrs. Rice and Ainsworth who immediately 
wired him : 

" * * * ^Yg fgei convinced that the price placed upon the 
property is too high and should be reduced. Seattle is proffering 
us most liberal donation in cash, city lots, extensive and unbroken 
M^aterfront including the Yesler mill and wharf, and also large 
quantities of valuable lands in the vicinity of the town, while 
Tacoma, an undeveloped town, retains her most valuable improveci 
property or demands what seems to us under the circumstances an 
exorbitant price for it. Is this wise? We make the suggestion 
for the consideration of the owners. We think the personal prop- 
erty of the company at Tacoma of every description should be 
included. If this is done our company will pay the $100,000 in 
gold in 30 days" etc. 

The deal was ordered closed, and the mill then was rented on 
a basis of $100,000 with tug, goods and logs at cost to Hanson, 
Ackerson & Co. This sale was not pleasant to Ackerson as it 
made him very little on his investment. But in 1881 he sold his 
interests to Hanson, who paid him $125,000 for his original 
investment of $2,000. 

The Xorthern Pacific contractor, who was building the line 
was J. B. ^Montgomery, and he carried a sawmill with him as he 
moved his forces northward. It had a capacity of 40,000 feet a 
day, and its last set-up was on Clover Creek. 

Montgomery took the contract to build the first twenty-five 
miles from Ivalama, and before that was completed he took an- 
other contract for ten miles. J. L. Hallett had the contract to 
build the next thirty miles. INIontgomery then got the contract 


to build from Tenino to Tacoma, forty miles, though the contract 
called for 100 miles, with a saving clause that would permit the 
company to stop work after forty miles had been completed. This 
100-mile contract was given in order to excite bidding among the 
towns that sought the terminus and it had that effect. The com- 
pany owed INIontgomery $225,000 for his work and he refused to 
com^jlete the line into Tacoma. 

Colonel Montgomery believed that Tacoma owed her good 
fortune in becoming the terminus to him. In after years he told 
the story as follows : 

"I was unquestionably the first one to suggest Tacoma. I 
was a considerable stockholder, and bondholder to the extent of 
$25,000, and had a personal interest in the road — in fact, $56,000. 
When I came out here in 1870 General ]M. ^I. oNIcCarver was so 
intent upon securing the terminus that the other candidates for 
the terminus in derision dubbed him 'General Tacoma.' I hired a 
team and rode with him from Olympia in August, 1870, up to 
Tacoma, w^hich then consisted of a sawmill and a dozen or two 
houses. A ship was at the mill wharf loading lumber. On Sunday 
the captain and the crew rowed me in a boat all over Commence- 
ment Bay. We took soundings with the ship's lead and line just 
this side of the mud flats and found good anchorage. 

"I wrote to W. G. JMoorhead, a kinsman of mine, and the 
financial backers, the Jay Cooke concern, and told them that in 
my belief Tacoma was the proper site for the terminus, that it 
had a large harbor and all the anchorage that could be needed. 

"jNIoorhead took the letter, with a map of Washington, over 
to Col. Thomas A. Scott, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, 
and considered the greatest authority on railroad matters in this 
country and who had a large interest in the Northern Pacific. He 
showed the map to Colonel Scott who ran his eye over it, put his 
finger on Commencement Bay and said, 'This is where it ought to 
terminate if the road can get in at that point.' ^Ir. Moorhead 
said, 'It can get in, Mr. JNIontgomery says, and that is the point he 
recommends.' Scott replied, 'His head is level.' " 

In 1881 Montgomerj^ built the connecting link between 
Kalama and Portland. It was years before he received pay for 
the line between Tenino and Clover Creek. Montgomery said 


that when the line was built between Olequa and Tenino there 
Mas but one house visible from the right of way. 

The loeating engineer on the Kalama-Tacoma work was 
Thomas Burnside JNIorris, a man of great ability and rugged 
honesty. He took over the work after jNIajor Flint had located 
the first five miles. He altered the route of that stretch, and it has 
been asserted that his genius saved the company not less than 
$230,000 as compared with the cost of the Flint location. 

Hillary Butler was JNIontgomery's chief of transportation, 
and he, too, was a genius. Financial pressure was kej^ing up the 
progress to the highest pitch, and everj^ ounce of muscle had to 
be procured from the 750 Chinese and 250 white men who were 
employed on the grade. Between Nisqually and Tacoma they 
graded fourteen miles in eighteen days. Butler had to keep the 
camps up with the men. It was a master's task. Butler bought 
the lots in Seattle wiiere the Butler Hotel now stands for $350 and 
sold them for $85,000 after he had procured many other thousands 
in rent. George Thomas, of Walla Walla, was ^lontgomery's 
"chief of horse." In early days he had been Oregon's largest 
stage contractor. 










Thomas B. JMorris, the railway engineer, was considerably 
bothered through the summer of '73, in his camp at Lake View, 
owing to the failure of his superiors to designate the route to be 
taken. Even after Tacoma was chosen as the terminus there was 
some delay. JNIorris surveyed two routes, one known as the "53- 
foot grade line" the length of which was 44.17 miles from Tenino 
to the dock site in Tacoma, and the "116-foot grade line," b\ 
which the distance was 40.80 miles. The route by the steep grade 
was 3.37 miles shorter than the other, and it finally was chosen. 
For the company had to make time. Its finances had readied 
an alarming condition. 

The eastern offices of the company were urging the commis- 
sioners. Rice and Ainsworth, to hasten the formation of the town 
company, and they and Judge Strong were at work on the papers. 
The eastern office appointed C. B. Wright, Charlemagne Tower, 
and Messrs. Billings and Ainsworth to own the terminal city. 
They were, of course, all directors of the railroad. August 15 a 
telegram was sent by General Cass to Rice and Ainsworth in- 
structing them that "delay will be fatal to plans for procuring 
money." Rice and Ainsworth went east at once, and within the 



Philadelphia millionaire who coiitriliuted thoiisamls in furtlieriug' 
the interests of young Taeoma 


next few days the land company was formed. Money was pro- 
cured but not enough to bring the railroad to the terminus. The 
track still was twenty-two miles from Tacoma when the financial 
crash came, September 18, 187-3. The first to fall was the New 
York house of Jay Cooke & Co., and the collapse of his Phila- 
delphia house and his Washington bank followed immediately. 
Failures resulted in rapid-fu'e order everywhere. The country 
was terrorized. There had been nothing like it since 1857. 

INIany of those employed in the railroad building had been 
miners in the Frazer River country and they were, generally 
speaking, a rough lot. So that, when they decided to strike for 
their delayed pay a dangerous situation was presented. At Clover 
Creek, then known as Skookumville, they threw up barricades, 
armed themselves and defied their superiors. Conductor Nicholas 
Lawson, of the construction train, undertook to reason with the 
strikers when he was held up there. Davis, the leader, at first was 
very menacing in his conduct, but finally was persuaded by 
Lawson to permit the locomotive of the train to be sent back to 
Tenino where the officers of the road might be notified of the 
situation. This was done, and General Sprague, Governor 
Ferry, Chief Justice Greene, and General Stevens went out in a 
special train from Olympia to endeavor to remove the blockade. 
This special train was held up by the pickets 200 yards from the 
barricade. The strike leaders went forward to parley, with the 
result that Captain Ainsworth personally guaranteed the unpaid 
wages. On the Sunday before the blockade was lifted. Rev. 
W. T. Chapman went to "Skookumville" and preached to the 
strikers and the considerable crowd that spent the day with the 
angry workmen. The people of Steilacoom gave aid and comfort 
to the strikers. They were incensed, of course, over the choice of 
the terminus, and besides their stores were being largely patron- 
ized by the strikers. 

J. C. Ainsworth paid the men a part of their back wages in 
cash, squared the remainder with due bills on the store at the 
Hanson mill, and work was resumed. E. S. "Skookum" Smith 
had been employed by the railroad to complete the work after 
there had been trouble with Contractor Montgomery. By push- 
ing his forces to the highest pressure Smitli completed the line 


into Taconui twenty-four hours before the date of the charter's 

"Skookum" Smith was a New^ Yorker, born in 1828, and 
lie came to Wasliington Territory in 1870. He built the first saw- 
mill at St. iVnthony Falls, now in the heart of Minneapolis. He 
first built a mill at Kalama, but soon came to Tacoma and in '74 
he prospected for coal. He later removed the machinery of the 
Kalama mill to Tacoma for the "Hatch mill." It was largely 
through his discoveries and his advice that the Northern Pacific 
com^Dany built the coal road to Carbonado — a work that would 
have failed but for the energy of C. B. Wright, who finally fur- 
nished from his private means the money to carry it through. 
At Wilkeson, Smith developed the first manufacture of coke on 
the west coast, after laborious effort. He organized a company 
and his enterprise seemed to be directed toward great success, 
when he died in 1886. His experiments in the coke industry 
alone entitle him to a lasting place in the history of the Xorth- 

The grade of the railroad had been com])leted in abundant 
time, but slides and bad weather had delayed the construction 
trains seriously. Nicholas Law^son, in after years well known as 
a railroad builder and recently commissioner of light and water 
and builder of the city's power plant at Nisqually, was the con- 
ductor of the construction train. He first had come to Tacoma 
early in November, 1873. He says that at that time there was 
a cabin or so at the old DeLin mill occupied by men named ]Mc- 
Neer and Root. At about where the Halstead House afterward 
Avas built, just south of Seventh Street, on the east side of Pacific 
Avenue, a Doctor O'Brien had set up a shack with a canvas roof. 
He was waiting for the railroad and was ministering to the In- 
dians and others who happened along with ailments. He was try- 
ing, also, to interest capital in a knitting machine Avhich seemed 
to him to promise cheap socks to the wide world. His pioneering 
availed him nothing. Later he removed to Astoria where he mar- 
ried a widow with money and went into the hotel business. 

Lawson says that when he first came here the little spit or 
island at the head of the bay was fairly well covered with Indians' 
bones, burial boxes, cedar wrappings, and other indications of 


the use of that spot as a hurying ground. Arrowheads and other 
Indian relics were numerous there. 

The first train that came into Tacoma was, of course, a con- 
struction train, and Lawson was its conductor. He had heen 
raih'oading since '69. He is a Swxde, born on an island in the 
Baltic Sea. He was a sailor like his father before him, and had 
made many trips to America before he landed to become a citi- 
zen. His father had come to this country some years before to 
find a home for his family. He joined the Union army, and soon 
his family lost all trace of him. Nicholas undertook to find him 
but it was not until 1869 that he discovered his grave in Peoria, 
111., learned that he had been terribly wounded in the service of 
his country, and had died among strangers. Nicholas Lawson 
had begun service with the Northern Pacific when the railroad 
building began at Kalama, and he was at the front through the 
whole period of the line's construction. When he brought the 
first train in, pushing the rude kitchen, dining and sleeping cars 
ahead of the engine, something went wrong at about the foot of 
Eleventh Street — which at that time was a skid road, the logs 
being tumbled over the bluff into the bay — and most' of the train 
was heaped up in a serious wreck, and Lawson rescued the cook, 
Pete Bracken, through the roof of a crumpled car. Ed JNIcCall 
was the engineer. 

A few days later, about the middle of November, came the 
first train to carr^^ anything besides ties, rails, etc., and aboard it 
were IMr. and jMrs. William B. Blackwell and some of their hotel 
furniture. The train had been brought as far as Tenino, then 
the end of the regular passenger run. There the Blackwells 
remained in their car over night. The next day Lawson brought 
them to Tacoma. The train stopped at Seventeenth Street. 

Mrs. Blackwell, who died in April, 1916, left a deliglitfully 
written paper in which she described the family's arrival in the 
new city. She Avrote that when the train reached th*e end of the 
track, they were met by General Sprague, who conducted them 
to the water, wliere they were ])laced in a rowboat manned by 
two Chinamen, and conveyed to the incom])lete hotel. Mrs. 
Blackwell had to climb a narrow board to reach the wliarf floor, 
as the tide "was out. There was neitlier bed nor i'ood in tlie hotel. 


Atkins, who was building the hotel wharf, invited them to his 
table on his pile-driver, and they hired four men to carry a box 
mattress from their car. 

A few daj'-s later the iron came for the completion of the 
track, and at 3 o'clock, December 16, 1873, the formality of 
driving the last spike was observed, with about two hundred 
persons present. There was much cheering, and speech-making 
by General Sprague, "Skookum" Smith, Joseph Ralston, Colonel 
Hibbard and others, after the final spike had been sent home, 
under the direction of John Bolander, head spiker, now in 
charge of Lincoln Park. He had bossed the spiking all the way 
from Kalama. jNI. INI. McCarver, General Sprague, "Skookum" 
Smith, Job Carr and others each took a turn at the sledge. The 
engine that brought the train in was No. 11. The train had 
been brought as far as Tenino by Conductor Harry Alger and 
Engineer JNIike Craig. Alger was the senior conductor, Tom 
Hewitt was second, Lawson was third. Pete Ross is believed 
to have been the first })assenger brakeman. The engineers in 
their order of seniority were Mike Craig, Riley, Ed McCall and 
Matt McCoy. All of these engineers had had their turn with 
the famous "INIinnetonka," "J. C. Ainsworth," "Richard D. 
Rice" and "Otter Tail," small saddle-tank engines which served 
in the railroad building. Tliey had no tenders, and carried their 
wood and extra water supplies on a flat car. These locomotives 
could not bring trains into Tacoma, as they were not heavy 
enough for the steep grade, but they frequently were here, wdth a 
car or two of construction material. The heavier engines, in the 
order of their coming, Were Nos. 15 and 16, both Baldwins, No. 
11, a Pittsburgh eight-wheeler, No. 2, No. 13 and No. 24, Bald- 
wins, and No. 17, a large-wheeled locomotive that developed a 
speed of sixty miles an hour. 

Late in the afternoon of the day of the last spike, the train 
started on its return trip for the South, carrying General 
Sprague, ^Ir. and ^Irs. Theodore Hosmer, Harry Cooke, nephew 
of Jay, and who, with his brother, were Tacoma's first bankers, 
and Mr. and JNIrs. Ezra Meeker, founders of the town of 
Puyalhip. The train carried furs shipped by ISIeeker and fish 
shipped by Shorts & Ludwig. 





• m 






■ X 


Mr. Hosmer came to Tacoma in 1873 as secretary of the committee appointed to select the 

western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad 


]Many Indians had gathered along the Hne to see the "hiu 
chick chick" as it sped through the night, its flaring stack spew- 
ing cataracts of sparks from the crackling fir in its fire box. The 
Indians had been watching the railroad building w^ith great inter- 
est and a few of them had been employed by the contractors. 
Most of them viewed the locomotives with a desperate fear, and 
they viewed them from afar. Some of the white settlers were 
similarly timorous. 

The wood for the engines w^as cut in two-foot lengths and 
had to be piled in the firebox with great care in order to make 
steam. If pitched in at haphazard it formed what the firemen 
ridiculed as a "crow's nest," which at once was made noticeable 
on the steamgauge. The locomotives left Tacoma with their 
tenders filled with wood and two stops were made for more before 
Kalama was reached, the trip consuming from four to five cords. 
Firing an engine w^ith fir was laborious and painful. Splinters 
severely lacerated the firemen's hands. A pair of gloves scarcely 
would last for one round-trip. X. S. Pierce was the firsrt railway 
mail clerk, taking the run January 7, 1874. 

There were almost no sidings between Tacoma and the Colum- 
bia River for several years after the road was built, and at many 
of the crossings and small stations cars were left on the main 
track to be loaded or unloaded. This practice usually j^ut the 
locomotive in the middle of a train, as it was picking up cars 
in front and leaving them behind. 

One foggy night General Sprague was jmaking ready a 
special train for Kalama, to hasten to Portland some impor- 
tant visitors, and he had taken the precautions to send locomo- 
tives out from Tacoma and Kalama to remove cars from the 
main track. Matt McCoy was coddling his locomotive ready for 
a fast run and Sprague and his guests were in the coach waiting 
for the start when Arthur D. Sweet, then a fireman, happened 
along and fell into conversation with INIcCoy. Sweet had come 
north that afternoon. He commiserated with McCoy for having 
to make a fast nin in the cold fog. Purely by accident he men- 
tioned a car of livestock that had been left on the main track at 
Centralia. McCoy was astonished. His reports had not shown 
that a car had been left at that point. He notified General 


Sprague, whose astonishment was equally great. Undoubtedly, 
but for the fortunate information which Sweet gave, General 
Sj)rague's train would have been in a serious wreck that night. 
He gave Sweet credit for having saved the lives of himself, his 
guests, and his crew. 

JNlr. and ]Mrs. Blackwell, wlien they reached Tacoma, found 
their new hotel only partially under roof. The contractor, H. 
A. Atkins, who had been mayor of Seattle, was pushing the work 
with all speed and not many days elapsed before it was com- 
plete. It opened for business January 1, 1874. 

Jacob ]Mann was installed behind the bar of the new hotel. 
He had instructions that the bar was for the accommodation of 
the guests and was not to be a hard drinking place. He followed 
this rule to the letter. He refused to give a railroad employe 
more than two drinks. He never would sell to a man under the 
influence of liquor. He was a czar, square and well liked. 

The Blackwell Hotel was 200x40 feet in floor dimensions, its 
ridgepole was 43 feet from the floor, 203,000 feet of lumber and 
122,000 shingles were used in the construction. It was as clean 
as a pin, and it set a table renowned throughout the Northwest. 
The hotel occupied the second floor, the first being used by the 
railroad. There were walkways beneath the wide eaves and 
a veranda faced the mountain. Here ^Nlrs. BlackA\ ell had boxes 
of nasturtiums and geraniums, and later a considerable garden, 
of which she wrote: "The first funeral (or rather burial, for no 
services were held) Mas that of a sailor drowned in the bay. It 
Avas not known who he was. ]Mrs. Joseph Houghton and I were 
asked to furnish some flowers, as we had the only ones in town. 
I had the first flower garden, made wdth a foot deep of leaf mould 
on a strip of the Avharf, at the end of our building. The railroad 
trackmen coming from their work brought in gimny sacks of 
dirt, until I had two beds about 40 feet long. I grew about every- 
thing one ordinarily has in a small garden. Added to this, I had 
long boxes eighteen inches deep on a porch which extended the 
width of the building. I also had 200 boxes made .and painted 
which held my tender plants that I took in the house during the 
winter. We had water piped in the building from a spring nearly 
below ]Mrs. Wingate's house. My garden thrived and grew finely. 


for when I was tired at night after a long day's work, I rested 
by working the soil and watering the plants and flowers." 

Like most of the pioneer women Mrs. Blackwell had her 
hands full. She and one Chinese boy of thirteen, who staid with 
her eiffht years, took care of 60 beds and sometimes had to make 
provision for 100 guests. The first Thanksgiving dinner in New 
Tacoma was eaten in the kitchen of the Blackwell Hotel. The 
dining room w^as not completed, and guests were not yet being 
taken. A turkey was brought from Portland for the feast. 

The walls of the hotel were covered with cloth and pax^er. 
The partitions between the rooms were so thin that one fairly 
had to whisper to avoid disturbing his neighbor. The hotel was 
set on piles and the whole structure quivered like an aspen when- 
ever a steamer tied up. 

About two 3^ears after the hotel was built it was removed from 
the outer edge of the wharf to a position closer to the bluif . The 
railroad offices were removed and the entire building was put to 
hotel uses. 

The waterway was alive with fish; game birds came to the 
tideflats by the thousands; a hunter did not have to go much 
farther west than E Street to get a deer. The Blackwell tables 
therefore served game in abundance. 

"The main travel was between Portland and Victoria, steam- 
ers making two trips a week between Tacoma and Victoria, con- 
necting w^ith the railroad here," wrote ^Irs. Blackwell. "From 
the opening day of the house (on steamer day) it might be said, 
we had a sweet time, for every one who got married within reach 
of vessel or rail made it their ])ridal trip. I tliink everyone in 
Oregon had postponed their wedding day until Puget Sound 
or Victoria could be reached. 

"We were practically three communities at this time. Old 
Tacoma, Wharf and New Tacoma, or 'on the liill' as we said, 
meaning Pacific Avenue from where the city hall is, to about 
Twelfth Street; A Street from Eighth to tlie same distance, a 
few scattered shanty houses a little farther up. There was mucli 
feelino- between the Tacomas al)out the name. We would call 
the old part 'Old,' while we wanted to be called 'Tacoma,' they 
insisting we were not Tacoma proper but called us 'new.' This 

Vol. 1—18 


feeling continued until the two parts consolidated, dropped the 
old and new, and were one. 

"Just before we came the town site had been cleared of trees, 
the small ones with trimmings, jailed in three huge bonfires and 
burned, the ground as well burned over, leaving only ashes and 
blackened stumps where the future great city was to be. There 
were a few tents on the ground where the workmen had been 
living. All business was at the M-harf — the railroad and express 
ofiices, telegraph, two small stores — afterward a printing office; 
also three families lived there. A few people were on the hill in 
rough shanties or boarded-up tents. My first visit to Pacific 
Avenue was in ^March following our coming. The only way of 
getting to the town site from the wharf was a single footpath 
packed down hard in the mud. In front of where the Odd Fel- 
lows Temple now stands, was a deep mud puddle, which has had 
enough rubber in it to start a good business — overshoes sucked off 
the feet of pedestrians. That summer a plank walk was laid up 
the hill, consisting of two boards laid lengthwise." 

]Mr. Blackwell had served in the Union army as quartermaster 
of a Xew York regiment, a position requiring executive capacity, 
great promptness and often much ingenuity, and in the great 
campaigns on the peninsula he never failed but 'once to have sup- 
plies up with his regiment when it camped. Soon after the rebel- 
lion ISlr. and ]\Irs. Blackwell read in Harper's INIagazine an 
article on the Northwest bv Thomas Somerville, and thev vowed 
that some day Puget Sound should be their home. The Somer- 
ville article turned many eyes to the Northwest. It was well writ- 
ten, sympathetic and accurate. The Blackwells read and re-read 
it, as did hundreds of others. In 1870, when they were living in 
Utah, thev visited the towns of the Sound by steamer. The vessel 
put in at Old Tacoma, where a village was beginning to show 
among the stumps. They spent some time in Olympia and Seattle. 
At the hotel in Olympia at which they stayed — it ^vas the Taco- 
niah — they learned how serious a word "terminus" then was in the 
Northwestern vocabulary. The waiter stopped serving them to 
have a vigorous quarrel with a co-worker in the kitchen, through 
the sliding opening in the wall by which food was sent to the din- 
ing room, over the question of where the terminus of the railroad 


would be, and they probably would have come to blows had the 
"grub-hole" been large enough for either of them to get through. 
In 1871 JNIr- and JNIrs. Blackwell removed to Kalama, then the 
busy headquarters of the railroad builders, and conducted the 
Kazano House, which Thomas H. Canfield, who named it, said 
was the name of an Indian chief on the Columbia River. 

They made money in the hotel business. The Blackwell Hotel 
in Tacoma was very profitable. Fortunate investments assisted 
in the accumulation of a fortune. They helped their friends — in 
one or two instances, false ones. In the crash that was to come 
twenty years after their arrival they were destined to lose all they 
had made. Without complaint they met heavy obligations which 
a less rigorous honesty might have avoided. Later on, when they 
again had found the favor of fortune, they devoted much atten- 
tion to art and made a collection of paintings, prints and books 
probably superior to any other in Tacoma. 

A commodity which in later and more prosperous years be- 
came plentiful on the townsite but which was rare enough in the 
beginnings, was champagne. When on one occasion the Black- 
well Hotel was called upon to serve a banquet, with champagne, 
some excitement resulted. Blackwell did not have time to send 
to Portland or Seattle. He remembered that long before he had 
shipped in a California champagne of rather doubtful genealogy 
and this was brought forth from its hiding place and tried. It 
was as dead as rainwater. The cheerful pop of the cork and the 
geyser of bubbles which attend the ceremony of opening the 
genuine was miserably absent in the California simulation. A 
sudden inspiration struck the Chinese cook. "I fix him," he said. 
By way of experiment as a basis upon which to carry out his 
operation on a larger scale, he convej^ed one of the bottles to the 
kitchen and immersed it in hot water. The rising temperature 
gave the wine a new interest and presently when the Chinaman 
released the cork it shot across the room with a bang. That 
evening the banquet was served, with "champagne," but instead 
of being carried to the tables in buckets of ice, it was carried in 
baskets to prevent the burning of the waiters' hands and it was 
served hot. There was some demur from one or two who thought 
thev knew the latest wrinkles in wine-serving but ]Mine Host 


Blackwell, busy and smiling and assuring, told them that ultra- 
modernity commanded hot champagne for the festal board, and 
the evening jDassed merrily with a truly corking reverberation. 

Mrs. Blackwell's reminiscences covered many interesting- 
incidents. She wrote: 

"Many distinguished people passed through — scientific men, 
artists, military and naval officers. President and Mrs. Haves 
were here in the late '70s. They held a reception on the wharf — 
there was no room large enough for the purpose. General Sher- 
man was here twice, and on one of these occasions a reception was 
held at General Sprague's residence at the corner of A and Tenth 
streets. He was not in good humor and, for fear he would be 
bothered too much, callers were asked to go in the front door, 
shake hands and 2)ass out at the back of the house as quickly as 

"President Harrison was here in 1885, and again, with ^Irs. 
Harrison, in 1891. The last time elaborate arrangements were 
made to entertain them during their short stay. He was to be 
taken with his party and distinguished citizens in carriages for a 
drive around town, review the school children, who were to be 
lined up on the sidewalk on Pacific Avenue, while Mrs. Harrison 
was to hold a reception in the foyer of the Tacoma Theatre, which 
was fitted up witli rugs, furniture and flowers to resemble a room. 
A painting of the mountain was presented to JNIrs. Harrison by 
the ladies of Tacoma. The President was not pleasantly 
impressed by our climate (it happened to be raining) and asked: 
'What are all those children doing out in the rain,' and requested 
that they be sent home. The gist of his remarks can be gathered 
from this bit of doggerel published in the newspaper the 
next day: 

" 'Tacoma's rain was falling fast. 
As u]) Pacific Avenue passed 
A hat, and underneath, a man 
Who muttered as he only can, 
"Drive faster!'"" 

"Another notable I remember, was the (then) well known 
opera singer Caroline Richings, who one day stepped from an 


incoming train, with her company, gazed around, passed to the 
edge of the wharf, followed by the members of her troupe, fell 
on her knees, and raising her arms to Heaven, with a most 
dramatic air, exclaimed, 'Thank God! I behold Puget Sound!' 
She explained that she was a grand-daughter of Lieutenant 
Puget who was here with Vancouver." 










sprague's popularity. 

The next step in the process of city building was to lay a rail- 
road track up Railroad Street to Ninth, from Seventeenth. This 
was for the purpose of placing lumber where it was accessible 
for house building. The custom for a while was to turn all trains 
at the "Y" in what later was to become South Tacoma, and back 
them to the townsite. At Railroad and Seventeenth streets the 
passenger coach or coaches were uncoupled and permitted to drift 
down the grade to the Blackwell Hotel on the wharf, Avhile the 
freight cars, laden with lumber, were pushed up Railroad 

The line up Railroad Street was ordered by C. B. Wright, 
who had just become president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. 
Aside from its immediate purpose as a lumber carrier, it was 
designed to become the main line later on, Wright having a plan 
to place the passenger station at' Ninth Street, between Railroad 
and C streets, and the entire block between Ninth and Eleventh 
streets and C and Railroad streets was set aside to be utilized as 
a passenger yard. 

One of the earliest structures was a frame hotel built by J. 



S. Howell at Seventeenth Street about where the Frye-Bruhn 
plant is. This was for the accommodation chiefly of the firemen, 
brakemen and other railroad employees. The engineers and con- 
ductors lived at the Blackwell, where Mrs. Blackwell's table and 
bedrooms delighted. Howell built a large number of the very 
early houses. He builded through the week and preached on 
the Sabbath, and not infrequently he and the railroad men were 
squabbling. There was a continual shortage of cars and the rail- 
road desired cars to be unloaded on Sunday. Howell never would 
do it. He was one of the few who did not work on Sundays. 
There was no day of rest for some time. The ring of carpenters' 
tools never ceased in daylight hours. 

O. F. Cosper, who figured for many years in the city's activi- 
ties, was a traveling salesman for a grocery house in the early 
'70's, and in '73 he first visited Tacoma. He left Portland in the 
morning, reaching Kalama by boat at 2 p. m. ; remaining there 
over night he left at 7 a. m. and reached Tenino at 4; the stage 
landed him at Olympia at 7 p. m. ; next morning at 7 he took the 
crack passenger steamer Zephyr for Seattle, arriving at 6 p. m. 
The journey thus consumed most of three days. His territory 
embraced all of Washington and Oregon, part of British Colum- 
bia and Northern California. Travel everywhere was slow. His 
trijD to Southwest Washington was begun at Olympia where he 
took a stage for Montesano ; a boat on the Chehalis River carried 
him to Cosmopolis, Hoquiam and Aberdeen; taking a boat to 
Peterson's point, a stage carried him to Xorth Bend on what 
then was called Shoalwater Bay, now Willapa Harbor; a boat 
then was taken to Oysterville, a stage to Ilwaco, and a boat to 
Astoria. Cosj^er and his bride were among the handful of passen- 
gers who started north on the first regular, through train froiu 
the Columbia River to Tacoma, though they did not come all tlie 
way. At Tenino they were advised by T. B. INIorris, the engineer 
who had assisted in the construction of the line, that the remainder 
of the journey probably would be rough and unpleasant, and he 
invited them to ride with him in his carriage to Olympia, where 
they took the boat for Tacoma. 

Conductor Tom Hewitt was with the company until 1881 
when he retired to a farm. He ran for vears on the main line 


between Tacoma and Kalama and afterward on the Carbonado 
branch. Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt came to Tacoma to live in 1875. 
They first lived south of Seventh Street on Pacific Avenue, and 
a short time afterward bought a house on the west side of A 
Street, about where the Villard House stands. jS1i\ and Mrs. P. 
D. Forbes lived on A Street across from the present fire head- 
quarters building. The Forbes' daughters became Mrs. Warren 
Brown and jNIrs. Frank Knox Brown. Mr. Forbes was con- 
nected with the Hatch mill. Thomas Spooner had a tin shop on 
the northeast corner of Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue, and his 
family lived in the second story of the building. 

Where the Donnelly Hotel stands was Fife's store, in which 
was the postoffice, the patrons of which went to the delivery win- 
dow through an aisle of sauerkraut, pickle, salt, fish and 
molasses barrels. 

On the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue 
was a rambling lodging house with a stairway reaching the upper 
story from the outside. This street intersection was the business 
heart of the community. 

Doctor H. C. Bostwick, the first physician, had with his part- 
ner, Davis, opened a drug store on the southwest corner of 
Seventh Street and Pacific Avenue. David Levin was the 
barber, and his brother, Louis, had the first saloon. 

Tom Quan and a mule team hauled water for drinking pur- 
poses from the spring opposite the Commercial dock until Fife 
installed his water works. Fife built two or three earthen reser- 
voirs on the lot just west of the Tacoma Theater, where the Star 
Theater stood until it burned. He shipped bored pipes from 
Olympia and carried the water down the hill to Pacific Avenue 
and A Street. He had promised to have the water ready for use 
on a Monday — this in response to the demands of the housewives 
who were weary of carrying water for their jNIonday washing. 
But there Avas an unavoidable delay, and the pipes did not begin 
delivery until Tuesday. The next day the two-story Godkin & 
Durr furniture store, about where the Olympus Hotel now 
stands, burned. Fife, after considerable search, found a small 
garden hose which he attached to a faucet and remarked : 

"There now, you have water for two hours!" 


The hose, of course, was of Httle value, but the new water- 
works were of service to the bucket brigade. EfVery able bodied 
man and woman pumped or carried, and, in common with village 
fires there was great excitement and many ludicrous incidents. 
Fife, in his desire to save United States property, sent what he 
thought M as a bag of mail down to the wharf, later learning that 
he had dispatched a bag of potatoes, and the good Mrs. Forbes 
wet down her gate posts with a coffee pot. 

By April 23, '78, Fife had all his pipe laid and the community 
was thankful and proud. 

The upper story of the burned furniture store was a hall in 
which entertainments, church and public meetings were held. The 
first traveling entertainer that came to "New Tow^n" was a 
sleight-of-hand performer, and practically everybody on the 
townsite saw and cheered his mysterious faking. Several saloons 
stood on the west side of Pacific Avenue, south of Seventh Street. 
This became known as Whiskey Row. There was much drinking 
and occasionally a street fight. It is told of two bibulous log- 
gers that they began fighting on the porch of a saloon, gradually 
worked their way into the street and both became so mired that 
they were endangered by suffocation. Pacific Avenue, from the 
wharf to Twenty-fourth Street had, for several years, a reputation 
for mud second to none in the Northwest. 

A blacksmith shop succeeded the furniture store. It was 
conducted by John JNIuntz. There w as a snowfall of a foot and a 
half in the winter of '78, and there was fear on Muntz's part that 
the roof of the shop would collapse. He sent his son to the roof 
with a shovel, but not until he had attached two ropes to the boy. 
One of these was held by Muntz on one side of the building while 
the other guj^ed him from the opposite direction, anchored by a 
generous neighbor. The cleaning of the roof attracted tlie atten- 
tion of most of the population, jocular suggestions as to better 
methods finally arousing the Teutonic ire of the painstaking 

John B. Wren made four trips daily in a rowboat carrying 
passengers between the new and the old town for twenty-five 
cents each, and seventy-five cents a ton for freight. He main- 
tained this service for some time. In January, 1874. the little 


steamer Lively was put on the run by Ca^Dtain Messegee, and the 
communities considered themselves quite progressive. Many 
however continued to travel with the driver of the mill company's 
delivery wagon, though engagements for passage with him had to 
be made at least twenty- four hours ahead. The driver was James 

It was thought, too, that Joseph Ralston had carried the pub- 
lic interest forward when he lined up a large number of Chinese 
and comj)elled them to work out their poll tax of $4 each on the 
public roads, this being the first time it had been done in the terri- 
tory. Mr. Ralston's ingenuity and perseverance in this affair 
enabled the community to learn about how many Chinese it had. 
The supposition had been that the number did not exceed 300, and 
conservative estimates placed it at 200, but Ralston gave 750 
receipts and then said he had not by any means succeeded in 
stirring all of the Orientals out of their squalid shacks, tents and 
hollow logs, and his belief M^as that the total number reached was 
not less than 1,000. However it is believed that he levied on many 
of the Chinamen more than once, and that his estimate of 1,000 
was far too high. 

Old Tacoma at this time was exasperated by cows running at 
large, and by an inordinate number of noisy dogs. Dog fights in 
the streets were very numerous. Cattle ran at large for several 
years after this. Far into the '80s, after the new part of the town 
had begun to assume metrox^olitan airs, the newspapers were 
suggesting that the city should charge pasturage fees in the city 
parks, into which the cow^s were turned by their considerate 
owners. It was not until '84 that an ordinance was passed, and in 
that milch cows were excepted. 

November 17, 1873, there appeared in the Tacoma paper an 
advertisement which in this more enlightened age would arouse a 
perfect army of uplifters. This notice was inserted by one John 
Hanan, and it calls the attention of the community to the fact 
that, Frank Burch having said in public places that he could whip 
said Hanan, Hanan now challenges Burch to combat and offers 
to post $250 as a guarantee that he will fulfil his end of the con- 
tract. Nothing thereafter appears to indicate that he succeeded 
in vindicating his honor. 


A census taken in November, 1873, showed that New Tacoma 
had 125 whites, about a dozen of them women, and 2.50 Chinese. 
Editorial commentators found satisfaction in the increasing num- 
ber of white women. It had three hotels — The California House, 
Mountaineers' Home and Nixon's boarding house. 

The coming of the railroad focused the eyes of the country on 
Tacoma, and immediately its population began to increase with 
rapidity. Tents sprang up and paid $1 a front foot rental for 
lots. All sorts of temporary shacks went up over night. Men 
piled boards against logs and with their families lived beneath 
them. Others lived wherever any kind of an indifferent shelter 
could ])e found. Mrs. Joseph R. Ralston, whose furniture was 
shipped in the first freight car that came from Kalama, and this 
was in advance of the first passenger train, tells how, when her 
family reached Old Tacoma they found that the house they had 
rented had been usurped by earlier comers. They slept on the 
floor of the parlor of the Steele Hotel the first night. The next 
day the JNIcCarvers invited them to the McCarver home and there 
they remained for about a month, until a little house could be 
built. Every house in the community was overcrowded. 

In the late summer of '73 Thomas W. Prosch, whose father 
had published the Herald in Olympia some fifteen years before, 
removed from Olympia to Tacoma the little plant of the Pacific 
Tribune and August 9 he issued Tacoma's first newspaper — a 
daily at that, of four pages, five columns to the page. The thump 
of his press every afternoon was most welcome to the village and 
the damp little sheet was read with avidity. Prosch also printed 
a weekly of eight pages. The advertising columns tell us of the 
community's business activities in '73 and '74. The houses using 
its columns were: Hanson, Ackerson & Co., Johnstone Bros., 
McMarten & Crawford, Hosford Orchard, Louis Wolff, Messe- 
gee & Rob])ins, Whipple & Hildreth, Ezra Meeker, Hoffman 
& Frost, Haslam & Co., Augustus Walters, the town's second 
postmaster; A. Mcintosh, notary public; Moms Dobrin, tailor; 
James E. Williamson and William P. Bvrd, liverymen; Hazard 
Stevens, abstracts of titles; J. E. Whitworth, teamster; H. E. 
Griffin & Co., builders; Dr. H. C. Willison, Dr. J. R. Price and 
Dr. Stacy Hemenway; Diller & Fre])lane, restaurant; A. C. 


Campbell, blacksmith; Carlton & Hewitt, job printers; A. B. 
Rabbeson, architect; Cooke Bros., bankers; Joe Hall, lumber 
and lime; J. B. Wren, wood dealer, boats to let; Robert G. Hays, 
Wells-Fargo express agent; L. W. Kribs, wagon maker; Shorts 
& Ludwig, fish dealers; Dooley & Chambers, butchers; Ferry, 
Woodward & Co., C. H. Botsford, Chapman & Potter, real 
estate brokers; John Dougherty, cobbler; John W. Bowers, John 
Craig and Kaufman & Levin, saloons. The steamer Alida also 

Hanson, Ackerson & Company advertised their mill as well as 
their general store, which was at that time the telegraph office as 
well. W. E. Ackerson, brother of John, being the operator. The 
wire had been run in from Steilacoom early in 1873. About a 
year later the telegraph office was removed to the Xorthern 
Pacific station on the "Flyer docks." 

The Cooke boys, Harry and Pitt, were nephews of Jay 
Cooke and their bank was opened in a corner of the mill store. C. 
P. Ferry was the first depositor, and within twenty-four hours 
the deposits amounted to $8,000. Capt. E. A. Starr drew the 
first check. The bank did not last long, being dragged down by 
the Jay Cooke failure, warning of which reached the boys soon 
enough to enable them to call in their first few loans, and put 
their house in such order that when the collapse came, they paid 
every depositor in full. Tacoma did not get another bank until 
1880. The Cooke boys M^ere interesting young fellows, not accus- 
tomed to the ways of the wilderness, and therefore the subjects 
of more or less raillery. It is told of Pitt that he once entered the 
livery barn of Joseph Ralston and asked for "a coach and six." 
Ralston, something of a joker, replied that he didn't have a coach 
and six but would be glad to rent "a buggy and one." One Sun- 
day the Cooke boys rowed from Xew Town to Old Town to 
attend St. Peter's Church, taking some ladies with them. One of 
them was JNIrs. Theodore Hosmer, wife of the head of the Land 
company. The boys, after landing the women, tied their boat 
securely to a piling when the tide was out. When they came 
from church the tide was in, and their boat and the women's 
wraps were beneath several feet of salt water. 

Not long after this on a cold January day Pitt stepped off a 


wharf into the bay. Rescued from his cold plunge he clambered 
into a rowboat and rowed all the way to the Elackwell Hotel — 
a feat that won for him much admiration. About, this same time 
Edwin Eels stepped off the Yesler wharf in Seattle, losing his 
lantern and spectacles, but fortunately saving his life. 

Among his other activities Supt. George E. Atkinson, of the 
Hanson mill, included the office of justice of the peace, and upon 
him devohed the duty of tying marriage knots. Among the 
couples whom he united was Thomas Hood and Miss Mary 
Wren. Thev were married at sea, on board the steamer North 
Pacific ]May 18, 1873. Mr. Hood was the first settler on the 
"hill," and he had come to Tacoma with McCarver in 1868. It 
was popular in those days to be married on board a steamer, and 
the captain not infrequently set a "spread" for the happy couple. 
JNIr. Hood is still living, and makes his home in Montana. 

Until September, 187*3, when D. B. Hannah, John S. Hill 
and jM. JM. JNIcCarver built a wharf, much freight for the business 
houses continued to reach them by wagon from Steilacdom. Ta- 
coma was connect&d with the new wharf only by a narrow foot 
bridge across which heavy freight could not be transported. Now 
and then freight was lightered and brought in by row boats, but 
that was an unsatisfactory process. Anotlier event of Septem- 
ber w^as the appearance in Tacoma of the first circus — "Wilson's 
Grand Parisian Circus and JNIenagerie," and a crowded tent 
greeted its performance. The admittance fees were $1 for adults 
and fifty cents for children. C. P. Ferry had charge of the wliarf 
and there he could usually be found when steamers came in, 
dressed like a longshoreman and supervising cargo. Both he and 
Theodore Hosmer had residences in "Old l^own." At about the 
time the wliarf was built D. C. Hannah built a water plant. He 
piped a spring to a 30,000 gallon tank at JMcCarver and Twenty- 
seventh streets. The water pipes were made of wood. Not in- 
frequently they })urst, flooding the neighborhood. 

On September 1, 1873, several men met in Craig's saloon to 
furtlier the formation of a INIasonic lodge, a movement which had 
originated a few evenings before at the home of C. P. Ferry, he 
and Robert Frost being tlic prime movers. The meeting was 
called at the saloon so that those interested could ascertain if the 


upper floor of the building would be suitable for a lodge room. 
Gen. James Tilton presided. Then and there it was decided to 
ask for a disi^ensation. The grand lodge was meeting in Olym- 
pia. September 4 the dispensation was granted. Robert Frost 
was elected worshii)ful master; George E. Atkinson, senior 
warden, and S. F. Sahm, junior warden. The petitioners for the 
charter were: C. P. Ferry, Robert Frost, T. J. jNIcCarver, John 
Dooley, A. G. Brown, George E. Atkinson, Byron Barlow, S. F. 
Sahm, W. D. McCann, H. A. Atkins, George W. Fairhurst, 
James Tilton, S. H. Crafts, W. E. Ackerson, George D. Mes- 
segee, C. B. Bobbins, W. R. Kahlow, R. Ball, Jolm D. McAllis- 
ter, George W. Black, George Byrd, George T. Vining, Charles 
Hampton, J. H. Ramsdell, G. N. Wright, John Longwill, John 
O'Brien, A. V. Callahan, J. Bowers and JNIessrs. Palmer and 
Wolff. The first charitable work of the lodge was the collecting 
of $70 to give to a Mrs. Jamieson when her husband, a contractor, 
was killed by the overturning of a stage coach on a hill near 
Tenino. From the beginning the little community w:as gracious 
in its charities. One of the early exhibitions of it was in the case 
of JNIrs. Stone. Her husband was killed at Wilkeson in a mine 
accident. Mrs. Joseph Ralston, INIrs. H. N. Steele and JNIrs. 
Augustus Walters raised $300 for her. She opened a little candy 
store. Captain Starr gave her a lot, the mill gave the lumber 
and the neighbors built her house. She prospered and cared for 
her three children with true motherliness. 

The INIasonic lodge was the cause of bringing the first silk hat 
to Tacoma. It was brought as a present for Robert Frost, and 
Billy McCann, halfseas over, made the presentation speech to 
the great merriment of the lodge. Tliough auspiciously born, 
the lodge very early in its career fell into a controversy with JNIult- 
nomah lodge of Portland. The Tacoma lodge had admitted to 
membership a man who had been rejected by the JNIultnomah 
lodge and the matter finally was taken before the grand lodge. 
At the same time a petition was received for a charter for Golden 
Rule lodge in New Tacoma, signed by J. S. Walker, W. M., 
John H. McGrable, S. W., and Sam Wilkeson, Jr. The grand 
lodge decided to grant a charter to the newcomers and recall the 
dispensation to Tacoma lodge. Later on Golden Rule lodge 
became Tacoma lodge No. 22. 


AVhen the Cosgrove & Craig saloon was opened February 22, 
1873, it was the occasion of another "Grand Ball" with supper at 
the Steele Hotel. Steilacoom people were the invited guests. 
Tacoma people proved cordial hosts and the dance continued until 
5 o'clock in the morning with the fun-loving Charles Leballister 
as floor manager. 

The contract to construct a wing of the Federal penitentiary 
on McNeil's Island was awarded in April, 1873, to Isaac Ellis of 
Olympia. His bid was $37,800. The contract called for three 
tiers of cells, forty-two in all, and a w^harf out to deep water. 
The McNeil Island site was chosen after the usual amount of 
envious rivalry among several candidates. An enormous spring 
was one of the important considerations that led to the choice of 
this site. Years had elapsed since the appropriation was made by 
Congress, and federal prisoners had been moved hither and yon. 

November 21, 1872, another newspaper was launched in Steil- 
acoom by Julius Dickens. He called it the "Puget Sound Ex- 
press," and it mirrored the events of its time in an interesting 
manner. A well-preserved file of this paper for a year recently 
was presented by J. C. Murphy of Tacoma to the Ferry Mu- 
seum. Dickens overworked in his effort to make his paper pay, 
and died, but his paper lived until 1881. 

In the second issue of this paper there appeared a number of 
items concerning Tacoma. Among other bits of information is 
the following: 

"Besides being the favored rival in terminus expectations, 
Tacoma owns more steamboat property than any other port on 
the Sound, viz., steamers North Pacific, Alida and Black Dia- 

"It has three logging camps in 'full blast.' One of them, Mr. 
John Craig's, is being conducted on a very large and scientific 

"The livery stable at Tacoma contains some of the fastest 
stock in the territory, viz., the horse Chief, and the horse Jack 

"The public school, under the superintendence of ^liss Jennie 
Torrence has twenty scholars." 

Gen. Hazard Stevens on behalf of the Northern Pacific Rail- 


road company was offering to sell to loggers the right "to cut and 
appropriate to their own use standing timber on any of the odd 
sections of land claimed by the company around Puget Sound 
at the rate of one dollar per thousand feet, payable partly in 
advance and the balance as the logs are scaled in boom before 

This announcement was the basis for the renewal of the 
vigorous controversy over the rights of the railroad company. 
Much opposition already had sprung up against the company, 
many persons believing it practically would monopolize the good 
timber and land west of the mountains. Many of the complaints 
came from residents of communities whose efforts to procure the 
terminus had been futile. It w^as pointed out that the railroad was 
supposed to dispose of its timber and its land after the line had 
been built, and not before. General Stevens was advertising logs 
for sale from lands along a problematic right-of-way. Opponents 
pointed out that a homesteader holding a claim could not sell 
until he had proved up. 

Feeling was not mollified when the secretary of the interior 
ruled that tlie railroad was entitled to lands along the line laid 
down in its preliminary location against all persons who made 
settlements on such lands after said preliminary map had been 
accejDted by the secretary of the interior and before the lands 
formally had been withdrawn. 

General Sprague, Civil war veteran with a distinguished 
career, had been with a railroad in jNIinnesota where his work w^as 
of a character to attract attention. He came to Tacoma as a 
representative of the Land company but soon became an impor- 
tant factor in the railroad building and after its completion into 
Tacoma he w^as the general superintendent. He was an able 
executive and a likeable man and soon he had not only this but all 
communities along the new railroad at his shrine. His simple 
dignity and tlie importance of his position with the railroad made 
liim the foremost figure in the community and he w^as treated with 
great respect. The village was soundly shocked, though it 
laughed, when one day a waiter in the Steele Hotel shouted to 
the cook: 

"Give me a nice, juicy, beefsteak for General Sprague," and 


She and her husband came to Tacoma in 1873, their fur- 
niture arriving in the first car of freight over the new railroad 
from Kalama. 



ininiediately another waiter, serving A. C. Campbell, cried, with 
trumpet-voice: "Give me a d — d good, stiff, healthy beefsteak 
for the blacksmith!" There was a burst of laughter in the 
crowded dining room in which General Sprag\ie joined heartily. 
As was said before ISIcCarver, E. S. (Skookum) Smith, D. 
B. Hannah, the tw^o Starrs and others who had put their money 
in "Old Tow^n" property were deeply disappointed by the deter- 
mination of the Xorthern Pacific Railway people to start 
another town, and they were much more seriously affected when 
the railroad finally came and chose for its station site what after- 
ward became known as the "Flyer Dock." IMcCarver and Han- 
nah had practically all their money tied up in the wharf which 
they had built, the waterworks and in houses in Old Town. 
Each of them undertook to recoup. ^IcCarver took a preemption 
claim as near as he could to the new town site, and then struck 
out in an attempt to interest capital in the coal mines which he 
with others had discovered in 1868. His new claim gave him 
trouble, for scarcely had he put up a cabin before a man named 
Coulter attempted to take up the same land. McCarver won by 
an appeal to the courts. Then in March, 1875, his enthusiasm 
unabated, he rode his horse up the valley, leading a company of 
men, to investigate coal lands. They camped in the open, though 
the weather was severe, and INIcCarver returned home and to bed 
with an illness that resulted fatally April 17, 187.5. He was 
sixty-eight years of age. He w^as buried in Oakwood Cemetery. 
In 1873 JMcCarver had held two public positions simul- 
taneously — county superintendent of schools and road supervisor 
of District No. 15. 

With the establishment of New Tacoma many of the residents 
of Tacoma proper removed or prepared to remove to the new 
town, and several established themselves among the stumps and 
logs. Tlie following items from the Steilacoom Express tell 
briefly of the activity: 

July 24 — "Three new stores, one blacksmitli shop and legions 
of whiskey mills have sprung into existence in Tacoma since the 
location of the terminus and are now in full blast. The Johnston 
Bros., of Seattle have moved their extensive stock u]) here and 
in a few days the firm of Hoffman & Frost of 01ym])ia will move 
hither their tin and hardware establisliment." 

Vol. 3—1 4 


July 31 — "Tacoma is going ahead. The fever has abated and 
the people have commenced in earnest to cut away trees, burn and 
dig up stumps, clear the ground and erect houses as speedily as 
lumber can be obtained from Freeport and Seattle, for the mill 
at Tacoma has all it can do to supply the shipping." 

"In days to come men will pride themselves with having done 
the first this or the first that in the great terminus city. It may 
not be uninteresting therefore to record that IVIr. C. P. Ferry 
of Portland, put up the first 'shingle' at the terminus, and made 
the first deposit in the bank of the Cooke brothers. * * * 

"One Doherty, a shoemaker, boasts of being the first business 
man at the terminus. He has built a roof over an alley between 
two houses and there opened a shop about three feet wide and 
twenty feet long; rent, nine dollars." 

"Visitors at Tacoma should not omit to notice in the evening 
when work is suspended in the mill the display of 'waterworks' on 
the roof of the mill. An iron pipe is laid on the roof with holes 
> drilled at short intervals in the pipe, and when water is let on to 
wash down, the spectacle is truly grand. It is the invention of 
Mr. Wallace, superintendent of the mill." 

"Many of the papers on Puget Sound, in their way, are mak- 
ing feeble efforts to 'throw cold water' on and retard the progress 
of manifest destiny. * * * Tacoma is a fixed fact. Rings 
cannot submerge her, whether composed of disappointed specula- 
tors or interested editors. 

"Tacoma, the star of the West, and center from which all 
other luminaries radiate, is yet ahead and likely to remain so un- 
less Steilacoom, having such splendid harbor and water facilities, 
should rival her glory." 








"potato" BROOKS, "tIN-HORN," MAKES A "gETAWAY." 

Judge Lynch held brutal court in Old Tacoma April 27, 
1873. It was on Sunday, and the convict was a half-breed Indian, 
Jim Shell. At 2 o'clock on that Sunday morning the Indian 
killed Louis Moroe, or INIorris, a Canadian half-breed, at the 
resort of a man named JNIcKay. The murder took place while a 
lively dance was in progress in the Craig & Cosgrove Hall. 
Shell walked up behind JNIoroe and with a hatchet almost cut off 
his head. The murderer was taken into custody at once and 
locked up in one of the rooms of the Craig & Cosgrove saloon 
building. Sheriff Davisson at Steilacoom was notified and he 
sent two deputies after the prisoner in the afternoon. As they 
were taking the Indian out of the building a crowd seized him 
and forced the deputies back into the building. There they were 
kept while the mob removed the Indian about sixty feet away 
where a rope was thrown over a stump and the wretch was slowly 
strangled. The members of the mob at once dispersed and the 
village soon was as quiet as usual. Indians cut down the corpse of 
the dead man and removed it to Brown's Point where it was 

Shell killed Morris after a quarrel over an Indian woman 
known as "Soldier Sal." Jealousy over her affections had caused 



two other killings, one in the woods near Fort Steilacoom, and 
the other in the swale back of the new railroad station. This 
spot in the early days was a well-known Indian camping place. 
Both of the Steilacoom victims were soldiers. 

A farcical investigation of the Shell lynching followed, but 
no one was punished. The deputies whom the sheriiF sent after 
the prisoner are said to have made little or no effort to save his 


The Steilacoom paper devoted less than a half column to the 
tragedy and treated it in a humorous manner. No further men- 
tion was made of it until ^lay 8, when this paragraph appeared : 

"There couldn't have been very many people at Tacoma on 
Saturday, judging from the large number visiting our city that 
day. They all told the same story, and in certain cases believe 
in capital punishment." 

Nothing further was heard of the case. 

The assessment of Pierce County in 1873 was on $702,017- 
The returns showed 293 dwelling houses, 230 families, 715 white 
males, 499 white females, 100 colored males, 8.5 colored females, 
231 foreign-born males, 70 foreign-born females, 2 blind, 64 
could not read, 103 could not write, 243 attended school, 4.56 

The first wedding on the new townsite probably caused as 
much curiosity as any that has been celebrated since. Rev. Mr. 
Judy, the Metliodist minister, boarded at Fife's. He let it be 
known at the Tom Hewitt home that a wedding was about to 
take place. He would not give the names. He allowed this 
vague information to scatter and brew for a few days, until the 
women of the community w^ere almost ready to lynch him for his 
secretiveness. At length he agreed to take into the secret all the 
women living within the block bounded by Pacific and A, and 
Seventh and Ninth streets. While that included the most of the 
population, a few were omitted. His situation was becoming pre- 
carious, but he braved it. By this time the domestic status and 
marital prospects of every unmarried person in the village and 
suburbs had been granulated again and again over the teacups 
and back fences. One evening the minister slipped down to 
Twelfth Street and Pacific Avenue, and there remarried a 


divorced couple named Barr. The women never quite forgave 
Mr. Judy for that. 

The first child born in New Tacoma was a girl— the daughter 
of jNIr. and JNlrs. Anthony Anderson. A town lot had been 
ofi'ered to the first baby. It caused considerable humorous com- 
ment, and, it appears, some rivalry, as, only a very short time 
after the Anderson girl came there arrived a boy baby, also 
named Anderson and until the time was "officially announced" 
the parents of the boy were preparing for recognition by the Land 
company. The third child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. 

Though the first clergyman had appeared on the townsite 
soon after the Hanson, Ackerson & Co. mill began building, no 
attempt was made to build a church until 1873, when the follow- 
ing Tacoma item ai^peared in the Steilacoom Express under date 
of July 24: 

"Bishoj) jNIorris intends erecting a church at the place; work 
on it to commence next week. Doctor Atkinson of Portland, a 
Congregationalist, is endeavoring to secure a tent, to put up on 
Front Street, in order to gather his flock, and Reverend Thomp- 
son of Olympia, has an eye on the place for the enlargement of his 

The first clergyman to come here was Rev. George H. Greer, 
who in 1868 preached in the mill cookhouse. Civilization has much 
for which to thank the cookhouse in lumber and mining camp. 
Revs. I. D. Driver, S. H. Mann, Patterson, Hoxie and others 
came and held services, and in 1873 Rev. W. T. Chapman was 
sent to Tacoma by the conference, but the Episcopalians built the 
first church. There were in this field from time to time several 
Catholic. Presbyterian, Baptist and Congregational clergymen. 
The Congregationalisis were active soon after the first jNIeth- 
odists began work. It was the custom to give liberally to the 
traveling clerQvmen and Rev. ]\Ir. Patterson once received a 
purse of $150 from the mill men. Among others who ministered 
here in those times was Rev. J. F. DeVore, who built tlie first 
Protestant church in Steilacoom, the first in Olympia, and two of 
the early ones of Tacoma. He was indefatigable in his labors. 
John R. Tliompson, George W. Sloan, George H. Atkinson, 


George F. Whitworth, another man of force and popularity, Ben- 
jamin Wister JNIorris, who inspired the building of St. Peter's, 
John F. Damond, T. J. Weekes, Peter E. Hyland, and 
others ministered. Rev. Mr. Atkinson, Congregationalist, 
preached in the school house for a time and later put up a tent 
for a meeting house. That tent finally developed into the First 
Congregational Church. 

St. Peter's Episcopal Church is closely linked with the early 
history of Tacoma. The old structure — old for this new and 
bustling West — has a tenderly sentimental interest for every resi- 
dent of the city. The following "Histoiy of the Parish" is taken 
from the old register of the church which is being well preserved 
by JNIrs. Alice Rector Watson, granddaughter of INIrs. J. A. 
Walters, who for years was known as the "mother of the church." 

"The Village of Tacoma had been visited by Rev. P. E. 
Hvland and Rev. I. F. Roberts as clergvmen of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, but not until the selection of Commencement 
Bay as the western terminus of the North Pacific railroad was it 
a place of sufficient importance to be permanently occupied. The 
site of the jjroposed city is about two miles eastM^ard from the 
i^resent village of Tacoma which has raj)idly increased since the 
location of the terminus. 

"Bishop ^Morris held service with the mission service book in 
the village school house on the Seventh Sundav after Trinitv 
(27th July, 1873) and the Sunday after, the Rev. C. R. Bon- 
nell held service in the same place using the Book of Common 
Prayer. The next Sunday, the ninth after Trinity, a new chapel 
having been built on Starr Avenue since the bishop's visit, ser- 
vices were held in the said chapel and have been continued 
there until this day. 

"The church was allowed to use the ground by the owners 
thereof, Mr. Smith (Skookum) and Captain Starr. A Sunday 
school was begim with two scholars on the first opening of 
the chapel. At the annual convocation of the missionary juris- 
diction of Oregon and Washington territory held in Portland, 
August 28-31, 1874, St. Peter's church, having been duly organ- 
ized, was admitted as a member of convocation. On the approval 
of the bishop, Messrs. C. H. Botsford, G. E. Atkinson, T. Pitt 







1 ^ 

^^^^^^^^■mRiSsiy^v f 






Cooke, Harry Dell Cooke and Chas. Prosch were made vestry- 
men until Easter JNIonday next. 

"The first cost of the chapel was about three hundred dollars. 
The support of its ministrations have been provided for from the 
first upon the principle that 'offering is worship.' The voluntary 
offerings of the congregation have to this date supplied both the 
chapel and its services. As the new city is about to be opened to 
settlers as soon as the land chosen is cleared and graded it was 
thought best to build this temporary chapel in the present village. 
The board-and-batten roof by which it was covered at first having 
been found insufficient to exclude rain, a roof of shingles was 
pilt on the chapel in September." 

The first funeral held in the chapel was that of Mrs. N. D. 
Harris, who lived near by. "The body was not brought into the 
chapel," says the register, "but her two children, one five years 
old and the other two weeks old, were present and were baptized, 
the service for baptism following the funeral sei-vice." Under 
the date of May 18, 1874, the register says: 

"Bishop JMorris with the rector, three of the vestrymen 
(Messrs. Atkinson, Prosch and T. P. Cooke) and other members 
of the parish assembled on the donated lots (these lots, Numbers 
1, 2, 3 and 4, block 807, had been donated by the land 
company a few days before) and with the assistance of several 
others including twelve Chinese, worked on the lots clearing, 
burning and grading from about 2 p. m. until 5 p. m., when at the 
northwest point, a procession was formed of all present, save 
the Chinese who stopped their work and sat quietly until the 
service was ended. The bishop led the procession reciting the 
Apostles' Creed in which those following joined. The creed with 
a psalm following — from the form used at the laying of a corner- 
stone, etc. — having been recited the south corner was reached 
when the I^ord's Prayer was said and the 122nd psalm. Tlie 
procession then turned the southeast corner and the bishop began 
the Commandments, the company responding, 'Lord, have mercy 
upon us, etc' Thus the point — in the northwest — was again 
reached from wliich the procession had started and from this 
point it then proceeded to the northeast corner of tlie s])ace 
marked for the church where a stake was driven, in the Holy 
Xame, and after prayer and blessing tlie company dispersed." 


The land thus consecrated is now occupied by the Hyson 
Apartments, on the point at St. Helens Avenue and E Street, 
and in a little while a building which was used for school pur- 
poses was erected. The church never procured title to the prop- 
erty. In later years when Rev. Lemuel H. Wells, now a bishop, 
came to St. Luke's Church, he suggested selling the lots in order 
to procure money for a church building. It then was learned 
that the lots had been only lent, the Land company having decided 
that they were too valuable for church uses. 

At the services August 30 a new organ costing $120 was used 
in St. Peter's Church for the first time, and October 12, a 965- 
pound bell, donated by St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia, was 
received. On the 17th it was set on a log and the next day, Octo- 
ber 18, 1874, Tacoma for the first time heard the mellow peal of 
a church bell, and it cannot be denied that the wild little village 
was in sore need of the saving grace of its sonorous clang even to 
its last vanishing echo in the deep woods that shadowed the nar- 
row clearing. Capt. John H. Smith, U. S. A., rang the bell for 
the first time that Sunday morning, and practically everybody 
in the town hastened to door or window to hear it. 

A few days later the bell was hoisted by a ship captain and 
his crew, by the use of ship's tackle, to "the oldest bell tower in 
the world." H. X. Steele and A. J. Babcock had cut off a large 
tree 48 feet from tlie ground, a task which was by no means a 
puerile contribution to the cause of religion. They accomplished 
it at the cost of considerable experimentation and muscular 

A. J. Babcock grew up in the woods of Maine, and came 
to California in 1848 by way of the Isthmus. About six montlis 
later he sailed for Oregon. The vessel was unable to enter the 
Columbia River and came to Puget Sound. He found employ- 
ment as a logger at Port Gamble and there he remained until 
Hanson, Ackerson &c Co. began building the mill at Old Tacoma. 
He came to the new settlement and has lived here since. 

Miss Annie Wolff, daughter of Louis, the merchant, who 
came August 10, 1873, was the first organist at St. Peter's, and 
she with other women worked with the zeal which their sex so 
often displays in Qombat with a church debt. Bj^ concerts. 


sociables, etc., they finally liquidated the accumulated bills. 
The church choir was composed of Mr. August Von Schrader, 
Mrs. J. W. Ackerson, Miss Elizabeth jNIcCarver and IMrs. Jolm 
S. Hill, of Seattle: 

The last of August, Rev. IVIr. Bonnell and T. Pitt Cooke were 
the representatives of the church at the convocation in Portland, 
and the articles of association which the}^ filed there were signed 
by C. H. Botsford, Charles Prosch, W. J. S. Tuckwell, James 
Tilton, William P. Byrd, Thomas Savage, George E. Atkinson, 
C. P. Ferry, T. Pitt Cooke, Harry D. Cooke, J. Ellison Ebey, 
A. M. Adams, S. C. Howes, J. B. Wren, A. D. Rowell, Byron 
Barlow, Philip G. Eastwick, Mrs. L. E. I. Hosmer, ]Mrs. L. E. 
Carlton, Miss Delia M. Howes (Dumas), Miss Virginia McCar- 
ver (Prosch) and INIiss Elizabeth M. ]McCarver (Harris). The 
next convocation was held in the little Tacoma chapel, and Bishop 
IMorris officiated at the first confirmation, the class consisting of 
Georsre E. Atkinson and ^Irs. W. R. Kahlow. May Buckalew, 
age two, daughter of JNIr. and ]Mrs. C. P. Ferry, was the first 
person baptized. The second was Ashmun N., the baby boy of 
Mr. and Mrs. Beriah Brown. 

The ivv which today crowns the old bell tower and which has 
been pictured around the world, was planted by IMrs. Jane A. 
Walters, Elizabeth JNIcCarver (Harris) and Mrs. A. R. Mann. 

The old register records the first burial in what is now Oak- 
wood cemetery. Rev. INIr. Bonnell thus entered it: "Thursday, 
June 11, 1874 — Frances Desdemona Coulston, daughter of 
Mrs. Root, now McNeil, aged nineteen years, five months — In 
the ground just allotted for a cemetery by the R. R. or Town 
company, being the first burial there." The next burial record 
in the register tells of the interment in the same cemetery of 
Gen. M. M. ISIcCarver, INIonday, April 19, 1875. This cemetery 
was known for several years as the "Prairie Cemetery." INIany 
of the burials were made at the "Garrison," or "Asylum" ceme- 
tery at Fort Steilacoom. 

The third burial recorded in the register was that of the two 
Ralston boys, John and Harry, John Croft and a INIr. Cliambers, 
who was an engineer on the Black Diamond. The four were in 
a rowboat at the mouth of the Puyallup River when their craft 


capsized. This was January 1, 1876. John Ralston was sixteen 
and Harry was eleven. They were the sons of Mr. and 
Mrs. Joseph R. Ralston, who had come to Tacoma three years 
before. The tragedy caused great grief in the little community. 
The Ralston family was well-known in the Northwest. Mrs. Rals- 
ton was a daughter of Andrew Hood, the first judge in Oregon 
City, and he came west with his family in 1845 from Independ- 
ence, IMissouri, with the famous Joel Palmer party, which almost 
starved in its desperate attempt to reach the Willamette Valley 
by way of the Barlow Pass route. In the attempt to find a way 
through Palmer and his aides climbed well toward the top of 
Mount Hood and suffered terrible hardships. They reached 
civilization at last, and hastened back to the shivering and miser- 
able company camped in the rain and snow in the desolate 
ravines, with scarcely any covering, carrying wheat. Boiled wheat 
was the only dish the sufferers had. 

IMrs. Ralston, who is still living in Tacoma, at the age of 
eighty-two, remembers all this vividly, and most vividly of all the 
boiled wheat, which she pronounces the most delicious dish she 
ever ate. She saw San Francisco when it contained but one house. 
She danced with Captain, later General, U. S. Grant, in Oregon 
City. Both ^Irs. Ralston's father and husband were in the gold 
rush to California in '49, and her husband was one of the brave 
men of Oregon who joined the volunteer soldiery that hastened 
toward Colville to rescue the missionaries after the Whitman 
massacre. ]Mr. Ralston was a charter member of the first JNIasonic 
lodge on the Pacific Coast, in jNIultnomah, Oregon, and he was 
mayor of Oregon City in 1862-3. He failed in business in Oregon 
and came to Tacoma to start anew, but met fresh discourage- 
ments. He became agent for an Oregon wheat concern and the 
familv lived on the "Fiver dock" near the Blackwell Hotel for 
some time. In after years thev lived in the Orchard Block, on the 
west side of Pacific avenue, north of Ninth. This was a two-story 
frame building, and among its other occupants at that time were 
two boys — Ernest and Alfred Lister. Ernest became governor 
of the state and Alfred for many years has been the efficient 
secretary of the school board. Mr. Ralston died in 1909, at the 
age of eighty-two. 





All institution which had its vogue all over the West in the 
early days was the "mad house," and Old Tacoma had one. It 
stood U23 the hill, some distance away from the business center. 
It was a large, shabby building in which liquor was sold and was 
frequented by squaws and demoralized white men. 

The ^IcKay joint was the scene of a kilhng in May, '74, 
when Constable Kahlow, who had entered the place on business, 
was alleged to have been attacked by JNIcKay, Wilson, H.I. Chap- 
man, and an old man named James Downey. Downey was killed 
by a blow. Kahlow w-as arrested, but at the hearing he showed 
that he struck in self-defense, and was acquitted. Chapman was 
arrested on the charge of resisting an officer, and he, too, was 
acquitted. Justice Potter, who also was school teacher, was the 
only victim of the court procedure. He was fined $1 and costs 
for holding an inquest over the body of Downey without author- 
ity. Constable Kahlow w^as jjart owner in the building occupied 
by the JNIcKays, and this fact entered into the controversy that led 
to the killing. 

There was a scarcity of coin in the country in the early 
'70s, and the mill companies had difficulty in getting enough for 
their payrolls. One of the curious "coins" that still had some 
circulation at that time, but w^hich were more numerous several 
years earlier, was the "slug," which was a chunk of gold of the 
value of $50. It was not a minted coin, but was, as said before, 
merely a chunk of gold. Hanson, Ackerson & Co. overcame 
the shortage of small coins by issuing tokens of brass and iron. 
These were hammered out by the mill blacksmith. They 
w^ere of the denominations of $1, 4.5 and 40 cents. The $1 piece 
was made of brass, oval in shape, about an inch and a quarter in 
length, an inch wide and a sixteenth of an inch in thickness. The 
45-cent piece was about the size of a half-dollar, w^hile the 40-cent 
piece was about the size of a silver quarter. These tokens were 
crudely made. Tlie value was stamped upon them. They were 
intended for use in the mill store, but thev obtained a consider- 
ably wider circulation, and filled a distinct want, just as written 
due bills formerly performed an important function in tlie trans- 
actions of pioneer farming communities. The brass and nickel 
checks now given out over the cigar counters are similar "promises 
to pay." 


William Hanson, of the mill, gave a set of these curious 
tokens to the Ferrj^ Museum several years ago, accompanying the 
interesting gift with a letter in which he said : 

"The honesty of the peojDle and the absence of any blacksmith 
shop save that of tlie company made the use of this money 


A newspaper writer, discussing these coins some years ago 

remarked : 

"Oreffon has long boasted that the 'Beaver' coin, minted at 
Oregon City in the early '50s, was the only money minted in the 
Northwest in tlie days of the pioneer, but here in Tacoma long 
years after Oregon's Beaver mint had become a historical inci- 
dent was a primitive mint that supplied the coin to furnish the 
pioneers and Indians with all of the necessities for their rough 

In the fall of '73 came Ira Cogswell and at once he built a 
larse liverv barn on the east side of Pacific avenue in what is now 
Seventh street, removing it south later on in order that the street 
might be opened. This barn which was of two stories and 32 x 70 
feet in ground dimensions, was considered a very notable addition 
to community progress. It burned in '78. In the spring of '74; 
Ira's son, JNIyron G., came, and one of his first recollections is that 
W. B. Blackwell shot a deer on the hillside above the hotel. Tlie 
carcass came rolling down the bluff almost to the hotel door. He 
recalls that the winter of 1874-5 was clear and beautiful for six 
successive weeks, with the temperature at about 12° above zero. 

The Cogswells' first home was in a four-room cabin on the 
lower side of Broadway at what afterward became No. 725. On 
, this lot they later built a home which stood until 1914, The 
present Cogswell home at 252 Broadway was built in 1885. 

The livery business wasn't a gold mine, by any means, and the 
family had its difficulties, but things were easier when the con- 
tract was ])rocured to carry the mails between the postoffice, in 
Fife's store, and the "Flyer dock." The remuneration was $900 
a year, and it was earned. Cogswell, Jr., rose long before day- 
light and sometimes waited in the station all night long for the 
train to come from the south. 

The road to the wharf for some distance was along a hog back, 


and it was as dark as Erebus. The mud was deep — all of the old 
settlers describe the night walk up from the wharf to have i^een 
an experience which no sober man voluntarily repeated without 
a light. For a part of the way there Avas a crooked, one-board 
walk, which in places was two or three feet above the earth, and 
the equilibrium of an acrobat was necessary to negotiate it. 
The road was so narrow that newcomers held their breath while 
riding uptown in the Cogswell 'bus. At night it was necessary 
to trust to the good sense of the horses. 

Of course, lanterns could not be furnished to all of the hotel 
guests who desired to visit the business section at night, and what 
few were lent often were lost. Invention was resorted to by the 
hotel clerks to assist the guests up the long, dark trail. By tying 
an oiled string around a bottle and setting it on fire, then sousing 
the bottle into cold water, the bottom was removed. A short 
candle was inserted in the neck of the bottle from the lower end, 
then, the traveler, holding his odd lamp by the neck, with the open 
end of the bottle upward, was provided with enough illumination 
for the iourney and he threw it away after it had served him. All 
of the saloons and hotels had these lantern-bottles and they filled 
a distinct need in the community for many years, until the first 
street lamps were put up. 

JNIr. Cogswell, who has amassed much property and who 
watched with great interest the beginnings of the town, is of the 
opinion that its earliest drawl^ack, outside of the '73 panic, was 
that the Land company did not ask enough for the lots. Lots on 
Pacific avenue sold for $200 — the corners $.50 higher. INIr. Cogs- 
well bought the two where Paulson Bros.' store now stands, 
110.5-7 Broadway, for $7^5 each. The lots are worth today not 
less than $1,500 a front foot, and a great deal more than that if 
based upon the rentals which Hon. Stanton Warburton is receiv- 
ing from his building, which stands next north of the Cogswell 
building. Warburton's rentals are said to be paying 5 per cent 
on $.500,000. With other of the old-timers Mr. Cogswell believes 
that if the Land company had asked twice as much as it did for 
its lots, confidence in the town's future would have been inspired 
and those early years would not have been so lean. 

One of the perils of buying at that time was the possibility of 


having a Chinese for a neighbor. M. G. Cogswell once had to 
pay a Chinaman a fat advance in order to get him off a lot next 
to the one on which Mr. Cogswell was building a house for rent. 
Others had similar experiences. Even in that early day there was 
talk of ousting the Chinese, though the climax did not come for 
several years. 

All through the railroad-building period, there were clashes 
between the races. One of these occurred at "Ward's Camp," 
seven or eight miles south of Tacoma in August, 1873, when 
Chinese laborers nearly killed a foreman. With jiicks and shovels 
they beat him terribly. The white laborers retaliated with the 
same weapons. They belabored eight or ten of the Chinese until 
their lives were despaired of. Then they drove the remainder of 
the Chinese crew into the lake, and there the celestials were kept 
for about an hour standing in water up to their chins. 

In August of '73 the first express office was established in 
Tacoma, with Robert Hays as agent. 

John Scolla, an Indian who had dissolved his tribal relations 
and had become a citizen, was murdered in August, 1873, by 
Gus Lyttle, in front of the Indian's home in Steilacoom. Lyttle 
was a desperado, who had been plotting to kill and rob Paymaster 
Bingham, of the Northern Pacific, and he had been giving exhibi- 
tions of his skilful use of the bowie knife and dagger. As far 
as could be learned he killed the Indian merely as a further 
demonstration of his dexterity. He cut the Indian in sixteen 
places, most of the wounds being close to the heart. He fled, and 
a reward of $200, off*ered by the county commissioners, procured 
his capture within a few hours. At the hearing he pleaded self- 
defense, but he was convicted. 

Within less than a week another murder was committed in 
Tacoma, the resort of a newcomer named John Pinnel being the 
scene of it. Pinnel had been notorious in Seattle for years and 
his removal to Pierce County was not welcomed. While J. Dud- 
lev was drawing a knife to attack Arthur Fleury, Fleury shot 
liim, and immediately mounted a horse to ride to Steilacoom to 
surrender himself to the sheriff. It developed that Fleury had 
overheard a conversation in the Pinnel brothel which indicated 
that a plot was being laid to rob him. He had heard of a con- 


spiracy to rob Paymaster Bingham, and had reason to beheve 
that the plotters had mistaken him for Bingham. 

Further bloodshed resulted when James Carey attacked John 
Lewis, one of the men who had captured the murderer Lyttle. 
Carey and Lewis had been drinking in the saloons of John Brown 
and Martin Gimel, low resorts near John Rigney's place 
on the railroad line. Lewis was twice attacked and badly pum- 
melled, and when Carey made the third attack Lewis stabbed him. 
An attempt w^as made to lynch Lewis but he was rescued. As he 
was being taken away he was struck a terrific blow in the back of 
the head with a neckyoke. Both men recovered. The fighting 
started after a long argument among a number of men respect- 
ing the propriety of "taking a few dollars for a man's liberty," 
Lewis having participated in the reward paid for by Lyttle's 

These crimes were the accompaniments of the coming rail- 
road. Along the right of way were saloons and other low places 
which seemed to have controlled rather than to have been con- 
trolled, and they were the scene of fighting and robbery all the 
way from the Columbia River. The railroad bridge across the 
Nisqually was finished the first week in September, and trains 
were running into Pierce County for the first time. There were 
flocking to this part of the country adventurers of every variety 
and petty crimes grew alarming to the citizens. Paymaster Bing- 
ham refused to go down the line without an armed guard of three 

The town plat drafted by Frederick Law Olmstead, the great 
Xew York landscape artist, reached Tacoma late in 1873, and 
aroused great criticism. There already had been dissatisfaction 
because the Land Company had delaj^ed so long the sale of lots. 
Prospective buyers were here in numbers and they were looking 
for rectangles of ground, easy of description and readily found. 
The Olmstead plat made the streets 66 feet in width, the avenues 
80 feet, and Pacific, Tacoma and Cliff avenues 100 feet. The 
allej^s were 36 feet in width. The streets followed the contour 
of the hills, and while all of the lots had a frontage of 25 feet, they 
had varying depths and divers shapes. The sarcastic settlers 
vowed that everything that ever had been exhibited in an agri- 


cultural show had its counterpart in the sha^Je of lots in this town- 
site, from calabashes to ice-boxes. And that came near being the 
fact. The designer was seeking easy grades and a marvelous 
beauty. Had the plat been adopted and followed it would have 
produced perhaps the most picturesque city on American soil. 
Some of our steep and expensive hill streets would have been 
avoided and the community would have been saved thousands of 
dollars in street paving costs. It would have contributed a for- 
bidding nomenclature, as Olmstead had chosen as street names, 
"jNIanoca," "Orinoco," and a great number of others for which 
he had robbed geography all the way from the equator to the 
poles. He laid out seven parks of from two to thirty acres in 
extent. "Capital Hill" was a park 900 feet square. 

The town builders were not j^leased with the plan, and July 
12, 1873, had employed Gen. James Tilton as chief engineer to 
lay out the city of Tacoma "at a salary of $300 a month, cur- 
rency," He did not long remain, and Col. William Isaac Smith 
was sent to make new surveys and plattings. He devised the 
general street system now in use. Smith was one of the interest- 
ing and delightful big characters wlio helped in developing the 
Xorthwest. Born in 1826, he was graduated from the Virginia 
JNIilitary Institute, Lexington, Va., and he served for a time in 
the ^lexican war. After filling a number of important commis- 
sions he was sent to the west coast, to build lighthouses on the 
Straits of Fuca, Shoalwater Bay and elsewhere, ^^'hich he did at 
considerable risk and privation. He served on the staff of 
Governor Stevens in the Indian war, and later became register 
of the U. S. Land Office in Olympia. Through the last two years 
of the War of the Rebellion he was continuously employed on the 
Confederate defenses of Richmond and Petersburg. In 1870 he 
joined the Northern Pacific railroad forces in the Northwest and 
surveyed part of the route of the new line from Portland north- 
ward. He built the locks and canal at the falls of the Willamette, 
later ably served the State of California, then rejoined the North- 
ern Pacific and explored the Cascade jNIountains, seeking a pass 
for the oncoming railroad. He mapped the route finally chosen 
through Stampede Pass. In after years he built the Bull Run 
waterworks in Portland, Ore., where he died Januarv 1, 1897. 








He never married. D. D. Clarke, Edward G. Tilton and Robert 
P. ^laynard, who worked with him, wrote and pubhshed a symj^a- 
thetic sketch of Colonel Smith's busy career, emphasizing his 
gentility and his high sense of honor. The general plan of laying 
out Tacoma followed that of Melbourne, Australia. 

A robbery that excited the Nortlnvest was committed in Janu- 
ary, '74, when a package of currency, en route to Tacoma, was 
stolen from the express compam\ The amount was $8,000, and 
it w^as being sent to Alaska for Major W. A. Rueher to pay the 
U. S. solchers. JNIajor Rueher was on the train from which the 
money was supposed to have been stolen. A youth named F. L. 
Budlong, of Kalama, was three times arrested. Twice he was 
released after careful examination. The money finallv was found 
beneath a house, hid in an old boot poked away in a pile of wood. 
Later Clarence Fagan confessed. He had not been suspected. 
He implicated young Budlong and Clark T. IMorris, an agent for 
the express company, who, Fagan said, had planned the robbery 
and engaged him and Budlong to carry it out. 

One of the characters of Tacoma was "Potato" Brooks, a man 
of about fifty, shabby in dress and an utter ne'er-do-well. He was 
a tin-horn gambler. One night he was gambling in Louis Levin's 
saloon and was accused by the man across the table of cheating. 
Safety seeming to lie in flight, "Potato" dived beneath a billiard 
table just as the man fired. The bullet struck the table at one 
corner and shot diagonally across, cutting the green cloth every 
inch of the way. A man who w^as playing billiards adopted the 
old method of stopping further firing by smashing the swinging 
lamp above the table with a vicious swing of his cue, and in the 
darkness "Potato" crawled out and fled. His principal revenues 
came from millhands, and he was always around on payday to 
fleece them. 


Vol. 1—15 















The beginning of 1874 saAV the building of the first sideAvalk 
in the neAv town. It Avas laid by George W. Fairhurst, oAA'iier of 
the California Hotel, and it ran from that hotel to Rainier Hall. 
Both buildings Avere on the AA^est side of Pacific AA"enue betAveen 
Seventh and Eighth streets. In January, also, Rev. Dr. Atkin- 
son held the first church seiwices in the neAV toAAii, the California 
Hotel being used, and an impromptu choir being formed for the 
occasion. Judge S. S. White built the first house AAith shutters, 
at Starr and Seventh streets. Old Tacoma. Pacific AA"enue from 
the Avharf to the top of the hill Avas graded to a width of eighty 
feet, and Avas referred to as a "magnificent driA"e." The 
saAA-mill filled an order for 15,000 bedslats from California, 
and Mrs. M. D. Harris put in the first garden. Byron BarloAV 
established the first retail milk business and employed boatman 
John B. Wren as agent, but Wren died in a fcAv days. BarloAv 
had a dozen coavs at LakcAaew, AA^here Frank Spinning was begin- 



ning to boom a town. In April, '74, there were but two young 
ladies in the new town — Miss Nettie Halstead and Miss Nellie 

After the sale of lots began in the spring of '74 the first real 
improvements were made by Reynolds & Howell, who built a 
stable 40 x 90 feet at South Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue, 
with a hall on the second floor. One of the reprehensible habits of 
the time here and elsewhere seems to have been that of placing 
jjublic halls above livery stables. The j)lans were ready for the 
construction of the Land Company's "headquarters building," 
where the Tacoma Theater now stands. This headquarters build- 
ing is now the Sylvan Hotel, at St. Helens Avenue and South 
Seventh Street. 

C. B. Wright ordered plans made for the first brick build- 
ing, on the southwest corner of Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue, 
and work on the structure soon was begun. He gave $500 to the 
New Town Episcopal Church fund — a gift which he afterw^ard 
vastly enlarged so as to make possible St. Luke's Church. He 
started the building of a line across the "Mud flats" — the fore- 
runner of the "Coal road," which four years later was to give new 
life to the community. 

Tacoma became a money-order office May 1, 1874. A census 
of Old Tacoma showed 177 whites of voting age. The Congre- 
gationalists were holding services in a tent in New Town, where 
the public school, with B. E. Craig, the first teacher in the new 
town, had twenty-five pupils. 

G. A. Stanley, principal of the Central School, and for many 
years a resident of Tacoma, has taken some pains to inquire into 
early school affairs. He says that School District No. 10. which 
now embraces Tacoma, was first organized as No. 13. This was 
in 1875, and C. P. Ferrv, W. H. Fife and Jacob Halstead were 
the first directors. The district covered about eighteen square 
miles, its boundaries being the Sound, Union Avenue, Soutli 
Fifty-fourth Street and, on the east, a line running about where 
the Town of Fife now is. The first enumeration showed twenty- 
eight children of school age, and the teacher was.Jolm Smith, 
All tlu'ough those early years it was difficult to get money for the 
schools. For example, tlie district indebted itself to Teacher 


Smith in the sum of $22o. A special meeting of the taxpayers was 
called and they voted a special levy of 9 mills, generous enough 
to be sure, but the money was not available at once, and in order 
to pay Smith his dues the directors borrowed money at an interest 
rate of 2 per cent a month. 

The little community enjoyed a hearty laugh when news came 
from Steilacoom that Locke, the brewer, again had been robbed. 
Locke was a sour and friendless miser. In 1866 he had been 
robbed of $1,600. A few years before he had hidden $200, and 
mildew destroyed it. And now his hoard had been reft of $500. 
He died in '85, and it then was learned that his name was Langen- 
beim. Though there was reason to believe that he had had some 
$2,500 about his place, not a cent could be found. 

May 21, 1874*, the county commissioners authorized the for- 
mation of a town government, and June 8 the first town election 
took place. Three tickets begged for support — Peoples, Citi- 
zens and Independent. Five trustees were elected — Job Carr, 
A. C. Campbell, J. W. Chambers, Augustus Walters and 
S. C. Howes. Howes declined to qualify, not being a citizen of 
the LTnited States, and Joseph R. Ralston was appointed to suc- 
ceed him. The board took office June 9, and chose Carr as presi- 
dent, W. H. JNIcCain as clerk, Leonard Diller as marshal, and 
George E. Atkinson as treasurer. Job Carr, the first settler, 
tlius became, in a sense, the first mayor, as he had been the first 
postmaster and the first notaiy public. The trustees immediately 
framed a sharp protest to Congressional Delegate ^NIcFadden 
and to the Postmaster-General, to prevent the removal of the 
postoffice to New Tacoma. The appeal had its eff*ect. The 
postoffice remained mitil October 31, 1887. The postmasters 
and the dates of their appointment were : 

Job Carr, ^Slarch 25, 1869. 
William P. Byrd, August 23, 1869. 
R. A. Lansdale, August 29, 1870. 
W. E. Ackerson, February 20, 1872. 
S. F. Sahm, September 8, 1873. 
Augustus Walters, February 23, 1875. 

The name was changed to "Old Tacoma" ;May 16, 1884. 


A picturesque character. He was known 
all over the county and was full of delight- 
ful stories of early days. Was United States 
shipping commissioner for thirteen years, 
and died in 1914. 

Postmaster in Old Tacoma for many years 

I '.. 


The last postmaster was Samuel Howes, appointed December 
31, 188.5. 

The first postmaster of Xew Tacoma was William H. Fife, 
appointed July 6, 1874. 

The new town held its first Fourth-of-Jiily celebration in 
1874, wlien the whites joined with the Indians to observe the day 
with proper ceremonials on the reservation. The arrangements 
were made by JNIessrs. George W. Sloan, J. E. Whitworth, John 
Flett, jNIrs. Hemmenwaj^ Mrs. Beatty, Mrs. Dittman, JNIrs. Bob, 
jNIrs. Joe, XajDoleon I, Napoleon II, Thorn and Dick. Dr. S. 
Hemenway was the principal speaker. Other addresses were 
made by Rev. John R. Thompson and General JNIilroy, the 
Indian agent. Rev. George W. Sloan read the Declaration of 
Independence. D. C. Beatty was grand marshal and General 
Spot, serene and magnificent in the cast-ofF military haber- 
dashery of a generous white man, was assistant marshal. 

Peter Irving was the leader in the road work in the summer 
of '74 — a work in which most of the able-bodied men alid women 
of the little community joined. The volunteer forces graded the 
roadway of Pacific Avenue from South Eighth Street a long 
distance to the south. The women provided the meals at noon 
and evening, and a picnic was made of the several days' work. 
For several j'ears the road was known as the picnic road, and 
along it clattered the merry cavalcades of horseback riders on 
their way to and from the lakes. For several j^ears night horse- 
back parties were popular. 

By the end of '74 there were twenty-one houses on Pacific 
Avenue and a few more scattered about in the neighborhood. 

Baseball made a start in 1874. The Tacoma Invincibles were 
organized on the 8th of August and on the 20th had their first 
and last game, a six-inning one, in which the scores were twenty- 
nine and twenty-eight runs. Kribs was captain of one nine and 
Palmer of the other. The players included Hatch, Fife, Stilwell, 
Cogswell, Forlies, Bingham and others Avell known in those days. 

October 1, 187-5, Eben Pierce took a census of l^ew Tacoma. 
Bv this time many of those who had flocked to the village to eniov 
the boom which it was believed would be the concomitant of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad's coming, had left for other fields. 


The Cooke failure and the very lean years that followed 
sapped the community of most of its vitality, and practically no 
progress had been made. The population at that time was cen- 
tered about Pacific Avenue and A Street from Seventh to Ninth 
streets. JNIr. Pierce's directory follows: INIr. and JNIrs. A. B. 
Graham, Blair Graham, ]\Ir. and Mrs. B. E. Ring, Mr. and 
■Mrs. C. P. Ferry, IMiss May Ferry, JNIajor and "Sirs. Hibbard 
and infant, IMiss Dora Hibbard, IMiss Sutherland, IMichael 
O'Rogan, ]Mr. and ^Mrs. W. H. Fife, W. J. Fife, Miss JMinnie 
Fife, G. W. Fife, IMiss Ellia Fife, Miss Harriet Goodale, Miss 
IMary Emery (dead), IMr. and Mrs. G. F. Orchard, George 
Orchard, IMr. and Mrs. P. J. Eastwick, Phil Eastwick, Mr. and 
IMrs. Eben Pierce, Capt. and IMrs. F. R. Smith, Charles Smith, 
Alma Smith, Nina Smith, Kittie Smith, William Smith, IMyrtle 
Smith, Mrs. Lewis (dead), IMr. and Mrs. Thomas Hewitt, Anna 
Hewitt, Mr. and IMrs. J. B. Whittlesey and three children. 
Miss Fannie Stevens, Mr. and IMrs. A. IMcXeal, IMiss Sarah 
Root, Len Root, IMr. and IMrs. J. B. Bingham, Frank Boone 
Bingham, John Bermer Bingham, Willie IMay, Ira Cogswell, 
Mr. and ^Irs. Jacob Halstead, Miss Janette Halstead, Miss Etta 
Halstead, George Halstead, Frank Halstead, Tom Quan, 
F. Carmichael, W. B. Stilwell, H. O. Geiger, Miss Jennie 
Young, Mr. and IMrs. Isaac Wilson and two children. 

This list included only those who were in town on October 1, 
and did not include those who lived on the wharf (Flyer dock). 
IMvron Cogswell and wife are not in the list, but thev were then 
residents of Tacoma. Mr. and IMrs. William B. Blackw^ll. 
George O. Kellj^ and his sister, with their help were operating the 
hotel on the wharf, and living in that vicinity were S. F. Sahm, 
the first railroad ticket agent, and afterward postmaster, and his 
wife Lottie; Michael Murphy, watchman; Section Boss Curly, 
and J. S. Walker. In Old Woman's Gulch lived a fisherman 
named Rathbane and his partner. R. A. Scott and family had a 
dairy on the waterway at about Twenty-second street. Mr. and 
Mrs. Robert Sproule had a land claim on what became Smith 
& Fife's addition. Sproule was hanged for murder in British 
Columbia some years afterward, the case attractinor considerable 
attention, as it was believed by many persons that he was executed 


for a crime he had not coniniitted. Capt. R. Smith was oj^erating 
a logging camp about where the Union passenger station stands. 
He employed seventeen men, some of whom were not counted by 
Pierce. Peter Irving was then hving in Tacoma but was not 
counted, being absent on that day. 

The Whittlesey family had built a small house where the 
residence of JNIrs. Samuel Wilkeson stands, South Seventh and 
Broadway, but the place was so far back in the woods and so 
lonely that they decided to move into town. They went to the 
California House. 

The coming of the railroad had brought a number of Chinese. 
They were living in shacks on the water front south of the 
wharf, and a few already had pioneered the way to shacks in the 
Broadway neighborhood. 

The first lumber plant in the new town was the Hatch mill, 
which stood a short distance to the south of what we now call the 
Flyer dock. M. F. Hatch was on his way to Tacoma from Port- 
land, in the fall of 1876, and on the train he heard two men dis- 
cussing the prospects of lumbering and of the possibilities of a 
mill in Tacoma. These two men were E. S. Smith and S. M. 
Jones, and Smith had just begun building a mill. Hatch went 
down to look at the building and asked Smith for employment. 
He received a rather gruff reply and made a somewhat vigorous 
rejoinder. He then left the place and after looking over the raw 
little village he decided to go to Seattle. On the way to the wharf 
he saw Smith and Jones standing on the railroad track near the 

"Hello! Are you the man who wanted a job?" shouted 
Smith. Hatch replied that he wouldn't mind, and he at once lit 
in with saw and sledge. Notliing was said about wages. Hatch 
began work in November. Days passed into weeks. Christmas 
came and the new year. The mill began cutting January 17, 
1877- Smith had not mentioned the matter of wages, and Hatch 
seemed equally oblivious. He had money, and he had faith that 
Smith, whom he had learned to like, would make things right at 
the right time. This situation ran on until May, with no refer- 
ence to payment, though other workmen were paid weekly. And 
then Smith offered Hatch an interest in the mill. The plant was 


worth then about $1(),00(). They agreed that Hatch's earnings 
up to that time should enter into the purchase price at a pretty 
good figure, and Hatch's cash, which he had brought West, com- 
pleted the transaction. The capacity of the plant was 25,000 
feet, and it employed twenty men. 

The jjartnership was known as Smith & Hatch. Smith had 
the contract to furnish the timbers for the Wilkeson Branch of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad. In fact the mill had been built 
to fill tliat contract. ]Mr. Hatch was a civil and mechanical engi- 
neer, and had had considerable experience with machinery, and he 
fitted precisely into the needs of Smith, who later dropped out of 
the concern. Hatch operated the mill for about ten years, cutting 
timber for much of the building in Puyallup and Sumner, as well 
as Tacoma, and it produced many of the timbers for the con- 
structing of other sawmills in the Northwest. It was a fine 
money-maker. The property finally was sold to the Northern 
Pacific Railroad, and in 1898 a part of the machinery was taken 
to Alaska, where it again functioned in the clearing of the w^ilder- 
ness. ]Mr. Hatch is now a farmer at Alderton. 

The wage of Chinese labor when the Hatch mill started in 
Tacoma was $1 a day. White labor was paid $1.75. Sing Lee 
w^as the Chinese boss. He furnished coolies in any number. 
Emplo^'ers always dealt with him and not the Chinese as 

Isaac W. Anderson, destined for imj^ortant work in city 
building, came to Tacoma September 1, 1877, as a clerk to 
Gen. S. A. Black, Avho had been sent West to succeed General 
Sprague as superintendent of the railroad. General Sprague 
having resigned to accept the suj)erintendency of the Oregon 
Steam Navigation Company. At this time there were about two 
hundred persons in the town ; there was no building below Ninth 
Street except the Wright Block, nothing on Broadway of con- 
sequence except the "headquarters building" where the Tacoma 
Theater now stands, and the Bostwick residence, where the Bost- 
wick Block now stands. The "headquarters building" contained 
the offices of the Tacoma Land Company, of which Theodore 
Hosmer was then manager. Sam Wilkeson, Jr., had just built 
his residence at South Seventh and C streets, Lee's house stood 


where the Woman's Chibhoiise now stands, and E. G. Ingalls' 
Honse stood where the University Club now has its home. 

The first Sunday that Isaac Anderson spent in Tacoma he 
walked from Blackwell's Hotel to "Old Tacoma," following the 
beach, and on the return he came "over the hill." He saw the 
block of land now occupied by the Stadium High School and 
decided to buy it, but he found that Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., 
already had bought it at the rate of $25 a lot. Anderson then 
decided to buy elsewhere in that neighborhood, and he invested 
$400 in sixteen lots. Later he sold these for $10,000. With this 
money he bought the Stadium block from Wilkeson, and a few 
years later he sold the plot for $40,000 to the Land company for 
hotel purposes. W. B. Blackwell, who owned an adjoining plot, 
procured a like price, and he then removed from the property the 
home he was completing there. It now stands on the corner of 
E and First streets, and is known as Jimmy Jones Boarding 

Samuel Wilkeson had come to Tacoma in 1873 as an employe 
of the railroad company. He had intended to practice law but 
not finding the field congenial he entered the real estate business. 
In May, 1877, he married, his bride being the daughter of 
Hon. Elwood Evans, of Olympia. For some months they lived 
at the Blackwell Hotel, on the wharf, and August 17 of that year 
they moved into the residence which Mrs. Wilkeson still occupies 
at 626 Broadway, and which for many years has been noted for 
the beauty of its surroundings. Mrs. Wilkeson brought ivy slips 
from the home in Olympia, and planted them, and later, when her 
children. Bitter and Zelma, were christened in St. Luke's Church, 
she commemorated the event by planting about the church the ivy 
vines wiiich now so richly adorn it. The start of the Wilkeson 
garden was heroic. Everj^ morning Mr. and Mrs. Wilkeson drew 
water from their 37-foot well and filled twelve tubs. In the eve- 
ning, with sprinkling-cans they watered their plants. Mr. Wilke- 
son was a graduate of Dartmouth and he remained a student all 
of his life — a fact which not many of his friends knew, as lie 
seldom made a show^ of his learning. His grandfather was tlie 
"builder of Buffalo," and his father was Jay Cooke's right-hand 
man for some time and later was for many years the secretary of 


the Northern Pacific Raih'oad. His pen did much to demolisli the 
myth of "the Great American Desert." Wilkeson, Jr., tried the 
cattle business in Kansas for a time but finally saw his herds ruin- 
ously decimated by the plague, and after that he entered the 
employment of the Union Pacific Railroad, and had many thrill- 
ing experiences with Indians in the Southwest. He came to 
Puget Sound with the first railroad engineers, under the direction 
of W. JNIilner Roberts. 

In those early days of the town the Wilkeson home was the 
center of social activities. Some of the young people who often 
gathered there were Isaac W. Anderson, Tom Wallace, John S. 
Baker, May Hall, Isabel Holt, Fanny Evans, Dora Hall and 
Idalia Ouimette. Mr. Wilkeson invested largely in Pacific 
Avenue and Broadway property and died a rich man in 1915. 

The next newspaper venture after the failure of the Pacific 
Tribune in Old Tacoma was promoted by Francis H. Cook who 
brought from Olympia the plant of the defunct Echo and started 
the Herald, a commendable newspaper. Shortly after he had 
started his enterprise there arrived Mr. and Mrs. M. V. Money, 
bringing the plant of the Beacon, whose light had been doused by 
the increasing distress of Kalama. The Moneys started several 
short-lived publications, edited by William Pickett, a man of 
caustic pen, and rather neglectful in the manner of using it. 
He had the reputation of being one of the most acrimonious edi- 
tors in the territory, and that, too, in a day when acrimony 
tinctured nearly every editorial ink-pot. 

The Monej^s established their plant on the wharf near the 
Black well Hotel, around which several establishments had sprung 
up. The Moneys conducted a stationery store, job-printing con- 
cern, newspaper and aviary. Mrs. Money often wore a live 
parrot on her head as she worked. She advertised her canaries, 
along with lead-pencils and letter-heads, and did a considerable 
bird business with sailors. The first number of the Money paper, 
Avhich they called the North Pacific Times, was issued August 15, 
1878, and one of the first items in it describes one of Frank 
Alling's hunting experiences. In 1876 Ailing had taken up a 
claim on Wapato Lake and began experimenting with berries and 
fruits, and furnishing venison to a considerable part of the com- 


miinity. Deer were very ]5lentifiil about the lake, game birds were 
niinieroiis and now and then he shot a bear. The bounties then 
were $4 for cougar or wolf; $3 for a bear, and $1.50 for a wild 
cat. In the three years preceding '81 Jasper Woolery killed 
105 bear and many other animals. 

About this time Frank Clark, the lawyer, was comj^leting his 
house — the best in town — on the southwest corner of A and Tenth 
streets. He himself drew the i)lans, and its plumbing was the 
marvel of the" little community. Clark had a beautiful flower 
garden, and a part of his six lots was devoted to a kitchen garden. 
George O. Kelly had built on the southwest corner of Broadway 
and Fifth street. 

Even in that early day there was fear that the timber soon 
would be gone, and the United States land commissioner made a 
statement that at the rate at which the cutting then was proceed- 
ing — 7,000 acres a day — "there would not be a tree standing in 
North America within the United States lines" in thirty years. 

Chief Moses was arousing the anxiety of the authorities at 
this time and General Howard was in the Yakima country trying 
to pacify him. It was feared bj^ some that the Indian troubles 
would be extended west of the mountains, and the men who were 
opening the Wilkeson mine determined upon a preparedness 
program. They organized a military company with George D. 
Arnold as captain; J. M. Murphy, first lieutenant, and J. A. 
Stone, second lieutenant. There was, as a matter of fact, never 
any danger from the western Indians. 

The June, 1878, census taken by the assessor showed that New 
Tacoma had 614 inhabitants. Old Tacoma, 350. The total for the 
county was 2,885, an increase of 600 in a year. The property 
valuation was $1,740,140. The population in the Puyallup Val- 
ley was 750; Steilacoom, 500. The Indian population of the 
valley was placed at 560. 

There were five hotels in town — Blackwell's; the Delmonico 
Restain-ant, I. Chilberg, proprietor; New Tacoma, J. Halstead; 
Washington, Henry LustofF; on the southeast corner of Ninth 
and Pacific, the American, H. Fitzsimmons, who advertised "the 
first hotel on top of the grade." There were five saloons in the 
new town and foin* in the old, and it was a matter of note that 


Joe Geiger's saloon had just added a "tea-totum pin-pool table" 
to its e(]iiipnient. The attorneys, besides Frank Clark, were Hall 
& Young and S. C. Hyde. Nolan & King were advertising gro- 
ceries, hardware, crockery, cigars and tobacco. INIessegee & Co. 
occupied "the brick store." Whipple & Hildreth had drugstores 
in both towns. John C. Hildreth died in September, after having 
willed his property to his partner, A. J. Whipple. Hildreth had 
had a varied career. Coming from Indiana to California in '19 he 
made considerable money, which he lost. Afterward he con- 
ducted a drugstore in Idaho City, and for some time made $500 
a month. A fire wiped out his stock and his savings. Sam Wilke- 
son was advertising lots 1500 feet south of the car shops at $30 
and $40, and he asked the same price for lots on the hill above the 
JNIethodist Church, which stood on the southwest corner of Sixth 
Street and Broadway. He offered lots 9, 10 and 11, block 707, 
for $700; 9, 10 and 11, block 802, for $700; 15, 16 and 17, block 
906, for $225 each. 

At this time the interest was intense in the completion across 
the Cascades of the Northern Pacific Railroad and two surveying 
parties, under D. D. Clarke and Charles A. White, directed by 
Chief Engineer JNIilnor Roberts, were running their lines through 
Cowlitz Pass, via Bear Prairie. It was reported that the}^ had 
found two veins of true anthracite coal on the "Ohonorpecos," one 
of them twenty-three feet in thickness, the other eight. Gold had 
been found on the "Michelle," and the Longmires reported 
copjier and lead discoveries. White reported coal on the upper 
"Owhap." In the fall of '78 Engineer Roberts resigned to take 
employment at $20,000 a year under Dom Pedro, emperor of 

JNIike iMin'phy and George Rigney were conducting the Cogs- 
M'ell livery stable and were doing a draying business. JNIurphy 
was an interesting character, a man of intelligence but no Beau 
Brummel. It is said he had been disappointed in love and that he 
chose thereafter to be distinguished for his unkemptness. He 
became wealthy. 

In August of '78 John Cade O'Loghlin died alone in his 
squalid little cabin back of the car shops. He was one of the 
most interesting characters Tacoma has known. He was a native 


of Dublin, and he served in the Union army through the Rebel- 
lion. Later he entered the service of the "Irish Nationality," and 
undertook secret work in Ireland. He was arrested and thrown 
into Kilmainham jail in which George Francis Train was placed 
when he launched his abilities into Irish affairs. O'Loahlin 
worked in the railroad shops in Tacoma and his mind still was bril- 
liant, in spite of years of dissipation. He wrote a number of 
charming Civil war sketches. 

The first school house was a small frame building on the west 
side of Pacific Avenue, probably on lot 7, just below Seventh 
Street. Later the building became Levin's barber shop. C. P. 
Ferry is said to have been responsible for procuring what after- 
ward became the Emerson school site, though there was much 
objection to it on account of its distance from the residence and 
business sections. The old Emerson school building is now a 
residence, standing on the northeast corner of G Street and Sixth 

When school ojDened in the fall of '78, J. B. Crites and Miss 
Annie Weller were the teachers, and the school books adopted for 
the territory for the year w^ere: Watson's sixth readers and sj^ell- 
ers; Monteith's geographies; Davis & Peck's arithmetics; Kerl's 
grammar; Barnes' history and Steele's natural science series. 

September 11 there was held a meeting that left its imprint 
deeph^ upon the Northwest. It was a conference of the employes 
of the Northern Pacific Railroad for the purpose of establishing 
a hospital fund, and C. Z. Saunders, foreman of the shops, 
presided, with T. G. Davis. as secretary. A week later another 
meeting was held, a committee composed of W. Wayne Vogdes, 
then freight and ticket agent, Daniel Frost, William Fair- 
weather, and A. S. Abernethy reported on a plan, and organiza- 
tion proceeded. Abernethy was made president, with ^''ogdes, 
Frost and Fairweather as the executive committee. Otis Sprague 
presided at this meeting. A few weeks later Otis Spragiie suc- 
ceeded Vogdes as agent for the railroad. 

The community indulged itself in a tin-ill wlien it was 
announced that James H. Guild would ])lace on exhibition here a 
])lu)n()gra])h. The instrument was being sliown in Seattle and 
nil the ncwspa])ers on the Sound wei'c devoting their super- 


latives to the machine, one of them calling it the "crown jewel 
of modern invention." It could be heard for several feet — even 
outside of the room in which it was shown, and it seemed to be 
confined to reproduction of barnyard noises. Its reflection of the 
cackling of a hen was described as being particularly lifelike. A 
few weeks later the community renewed the agitation for street 
lights, Avhen it was heralded throughout the world that Edison 
had invented an electric lamp. 

A number of Tacoma men were lured to the Sultan River 
in the autumn of 1878 by the report of gold discoveries. It was 
said that simple placer mining was yielding from $10 to $25 a 
day. As a matter of fact this mining had been carried on in a 
desultory way since 1861, but never at great profit. Since that 
time at least one costly outfit has been carried into the valley, only 
to be carried to destruction by the river. It is not unusual to find 
nuggets of considerable size in the potholes of the stream's rocky 
bed when the water is low. The source of these gold deposits 
never has been found. About a dozen years ago Doctor De Soto 
and associates spent a fortune in another futile attempt to com- 
pel the river to reveal its wealth. 

One of the important improvements of that day was the 
building of a wooden sidewalk from the "top of the grade," at 
Seventh Street to Frank Clark's oflfice at Tenth Street. This 
walk was sixteen feet wide. There was now a sidewalk all the 
way from the Blackwell Hotel on the wharf to the principal 
business corner. Theodore Hosmer and Frank Clark built the 
new walk as an additional contribution to the commmiity wel- 

Another source of increasing gratification was the develop- 
ment of the Wilkeson mines which, it then was believed, would 
make the town a city, whatever else betide, and there was rejoicing 
when the coal chutes had been completed and the first cargo of 
140 tons had been shot into the hold of the steamer Alaska. Even 
of greater consequence in the opinion of some was the arrival of 
the first tailor, ]M. Leve. The papers had been calling attention 
to the community need and INIr. Leve's coming was as a voice out 
of the wilderness. 

At the November election New Tacoma went republican. 


The coal road had been completed to Wilkeson early in 1878 
and had resulted in bringing many new residents and considerable 
new capital. The development of the mines had begun in the 
simimer of '77. There M'ere four veins of coal and they were 
called "The General vein," after General S^^rague; "Gale vein," 
"Ainsworth vein" and "Wright vein." The old locomotive "Min- 
netonka" had been established at the mine and converted into a 
hoisting engine. "Skookum" Smith was driving a tunnel into his 
mine, near by. He and the owners of the other mine were send- 
ing samples of coal all over the country and were especially 
spirited in their publicity in San Francisco where many tests were 
made, and the new coal was happily received. 

This j^artially compensated the inhabitants of Tacoma and 
the valley for their disappointment over the hop situation. In 
'73 hops had sold at $1 a pound. In '74 they fell to 75 cents, in 
'76 to 50 cents, in '77 to 2.5, and in '78, to 7 and 8 cents. It was 
the opinion that many of the growers would tear out their vines 
and perhaps undertake to grow sugar beets and tobacco, with 
which some experimenting was being done. 

Feeling had not been too kindly between the two towns, old 
and new, and it was determined by the leaders that they should 
join in a Christmas celebration. N. Costly, B. Barlow, Rich. 
A. Welsh and Samuel Wilkeson were the members of the recep- 
tion committee, and tickets were $2.50 each. On the evening of 
December 24 a merry crowd gathered in Smith's Hall and danced 
the night aw^ay. The invitations were elaborately done, and the 
decorations were well designed. They called it the "Carnival de 
Fun." In the newspaper of Christmas week appeared a number 
of items under one heading describing happy family dinners, the 
excellent menus presented by the various saloons and the Christ- 
mas tree in the First JNIethodist Church. 








The first literary society was formed early in '78 and Feb- 
rnary 1 it elected B. A. Chilberg, president; W. H. Leeds, vice 
president; Charles Halstead, secretary; Mr. Yonng, treasurer; 
Charles A. Cook, editor; W. J. Fife, sergeant at arms; Francis 
IT. Cook, critic. This organization cut a considerable figure in 
the life of the community for some time. Everywhere over the 
United States the literary society had been a force in the primi- 
tive communitv, an educational factor and an entertainment 
feature. Education was proceeding. The attendance at the only 
school house in the new town (where the Emerson school now is) 
had grown until the second story of the building had to be used. 
For some time this second story had been rented by the Golden 
Rule IMasonic Lodge, and a stairway had been built up from the 
wharf to enable the brethren to reach their meeting place. This 
stairway was known as "the 202 steps." The JNIasons, some 
months later opened a new lodge room above the Baker bank, 
whicji they reached liy way of a stairway leading up from the 

The first Odd Fellows' Lodge was instituted February 9, 1878. 
It was known as Rainier Lodge Xo. 11, and its charter members 
were Jacol) C. JNIann, H. C. Bostwick, J. D. Rupert, Louis 
Levin, Dr. L. Alverson and B. A. Chilberg. The lodge was 
instituted by Past Grand Master Struve, as special deputy grand 




I— I 





sire, the Grand Lodge of Washington not yet having been organ- 
ized. The lodge was instituted under the authority of the Grand 
Lodge of the United States, now known as the Sovereign Grand 
Lodge, and Deputy Grand Sire Struve officiated at the installa- 
tion. Dr. H. C. Bostwick was elected N. G. ; Doctor Alverson, 
V. G. ; B. A. Chilberg, secretary; Louis Levin, treasurer. Visi- 
tors were present from Victoria, Olynipia and Seattle, and the 
evening wound up with an oyster supper. 

The winter of '78 was mild. ]Mr. Clough mowed several 
hundred j^ounds of grass from his lawn January 25 and sold it 
to the Cogswell livery barn. 

The first telephone in Tacoma, and one of the very first on the 
coast was brought early in April by Division Supt. F. H. Lamb, 
of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and placed in 
the office of the telegraph operator on the wharf. It connected 
with another instrument at the Lister Foundry-, which had been 
established January 1, 1876, and which from the beginning had 
done a large business. Its proprietor was David Lister^ who had 
been burned out in Peshtigo, Wis. His first plan was to build his 
ptant in Old Tacoma, where, in fact, he did lay the foundations, 
but abandoned them for a site at Seventeenth Street and Pacific 
Avenue, in the triangle now occupied by the Betz Block, 
and there he cast the first bell ever cast in the territory. It was 
for the Sumner Methodist Church. Writing of the telejjhone, 
Francis H. Cook's Tacoma Herald, which ran for less than two 
years in '78 and '79, said: "The whole apparatus consists of two 
small boxes, about 4x6 inches, with a tubular projection at one 
end inside of which is stretched a thin, flexible material of some 
kind." The operator used the telegraph wire with a ground cir- 
cuit and the 'phone worked well. It was regarded as a great 
curiosity and many persons went to examine it. Three weeks 
later the Tacoma oj^erator asked the Olympia operator to connect 
his telephone instrument to the telegra])h wire to ascertain if a 
telephone message would be carried such a distance. The results 
were very satisfactory. Voices could be heard distinctly. An 
Olympian ])layed a clarionet and the tune was carried clearly. In 
response a Tacoman played an accordion. Olympia heard and 
was pleased, and the people of both towns were much surprised at 
the results. 

Vol. 1—1 e 


New Tacoma then was j)assing through the pig period, and 
there were pigs and pigs. Close to the business center lived one 
Graham whose animals were a particular blight upon the 
neighborhood. Editor Cook finally took up the cudgel in defense 
of the community, and in the doing of it, painted a realistic pen 
picture of pigs in a village. "Mr. Graham," wrote the editor, "will 
do the public a great favor and himself credit by hereafter keep- 
ing in a proper enclosure those bothersome pigs which he is rear- 
ing at the ex^Dcnse and annoyance of the public. It is bad enough 
to keep the animals within hearing and smelling distance; but 
when they are eternally sticking their noses into every open door 
in the vicinity and chasing after every man, woman or child who 
carries a basket or bucket near their habitation — at the same time 
squealing in a deafening choiais for something to eat — it is high 
time the public should ask him to abate his nuisance. Otherwise 
we shall have the favor of a law which was passed at a late session 
of the territorial legislature entitled: 'An act to prevent the 
owners of hogs from running at large.' " 

This punch from the press did not immediately imprison Gra- 
ham's hogs. One of the animals was loiown as "Graham's 
Hyena." It possessed an insatiable appetite and in appearance it 
somewhat resembled its godfather. The animals ranged through 
the streets, trotted along, and sometimes slept on, the narrow 
sidewalks, and the "hyena" one day seized upon and carried away 
a sack of flour that had for a moment been left unguarded in front 
of Nolan & King's grocery. 

The lifting machinery for the coal mines at the end of the 
Valley road was made at the Lister, Houghton & Co. foundry 
which also went by the name "Tacoma Iron Works." The plant 
just then was completing the largest casting made in Tacoma up 
to that time — a cylinder for the Hanson, Ackerson & Co. mill 
engine of 160 horsepower. Tacoma coal was beginning to gain 
a foothold and the fame of it was going afar. Theodore Hosmer 
sent a quantity of it to the Sacramento shops of the Central 
Pacific Railroad to be tested and word was returned that it 
equalled any coal that had been tried there. Fifteen tons of nut 
coal were sent to the Portland Gas Company and yielded such 
excellent results that large orders were promised. Business was 

Here Francis Cook published the Herald in 1878. The Iniilding stood on Broad, about half 

way between Seventh and Ninth streets 



growing as was indicated by the heavy mails which in April 
were being weighed according to the postal laws. On April 5 
came the heaviest mail in the railroad's history up to that time — 
twenty sacks w^eighing 1260 pounds, and 370 pounds of it stopped 
in Tacoma, the remainder going on north for distribution. The 
railroad shops had just installed the largest turning lathe on the 
coast — large enough to handle the driving wheels of a locomo- 

The election April 12, '78, for delegates to the constitutional 
convention resulted as follows : New Tacoma precinct — Delegate- 
at-large, O. F. Gerrish, 49; J. P. Judson, 125; A. J. Cain, 44; W. 
A. George, 46; M. V. Harper, 62; S. M. Gilmore, 46; Edward 
Eldridge, 3.5; :M. C. George, 16; Frank Clark, 6. Third Judicial 
District — Colonel Larrabee, 115; J. Houghton, 2; J. H. Hough- 
ton, 12. Council District— D. B. Hannah, 71; W. H. Wallace, 
68; Henry P. Hicks, 1. Tacoma precinct— Delegate-at-Large, 
O. F. Gerrish, 37; J. P. Judson, 49; M. P. Harper, 19; S. M. 
Gilmore, 23; W. A. George, 15; E. Eldridge, 16; A. J. Cain, 25. 
Third Judicial District — Colonel Larrabee, 54. Council District 
— D. B. Hannah, 52; W. H. Wallace, 11. 

A young couple, neither of w^hom was of age, came to town 
looking for someone to marry them. Joe Wren's ferry was 
brought into the case, also Justice Carr. The wedding party w as 
carried out into the bay where the justice performed a "deep sea" 
wedding and the youthful pair signed a marriage contract. "They 
were induced to take these unusual steps and hurry up the 
marriage, by the objections to the match and the interference of 
their families, but they were unable to obtain a license because 
of their being under age," was the Herald's comment. "Deep 
sea" weddings were by no means rare, but they always excited 
attention. The next excitement for the village was a series of 
severe earth shocks INIarch 21, at 6.30 A. ]M. The move- 
ment was from north to south, buildings were rocked and some 
chimneys w'cre cracked. 

Through the summer of 1878 several Puyallup Valley farm- 
ers conducted experiments with the culture of tobacco and the 
quality seemed to justify the hope that the industry would become 
successful, but the project failed, there not being sufficient heat. 


January of '79 witnessed the failure of two new'spapers — the 
Daily Herald, which Francis H. Cook had tried for two years to 
estahlish, and the Xorth Pacific Times, conducted by the Moneys. 
Cook, in his weekly jDajjer, scored the Oregon Steam Navigation 
Company, the Northern Pacific Railway and the Tacoma Land 
Company for their connection with the jNIoney paper, and pro- 
nounced the benediction in the following paragra])h : 

"The management of the O. S. N., N. P. R. R. and Tacoma 
Land companies — with great promises and bright expectations — - 
infused the first filthy breath of life into the disreputable sheet 
which has succumbed to its own rottenness." 

In February Cook went up the valley to visit his sweetheart, 
JNIiss Laura JNIcCarty, whom he afterward married. The river 
rose with Cook on the wrong side of it and the issue of Februarj'- 
28 consisted of but a single sheet, Cook apologizing for his failure 
to issue a full sized number. A short time before this the old 
hand press on which Tacoma's first paper — the Pacific Tribune — 
was printed, was put on board the Dakota for San Francisco. It 
was about forty years old and had been on the Sound since 1867, 
having been used in Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma. There was a 
Rammage press in Seattle that was still older. 

The help which the corporations had given to Cook's adver- 
sary, the Times, had primed him for a determined fight when he 
became a candidate for legislative councilman on the republican 
ticket, and in the campaign in the fall of '78 he had employed his 
heaviest artillery, alleging coercion, briber}^ and other forms of 
corrupt politics against the railroads and the land company. He 
charged them w^ith disturbing his meetings and of using railroad 
employes in an attempt to carry the primaries. He j^rofessed to 
be standing by the people as against the corporations. He 
charged the friends of the latter with bolting the convention 
which had nominated him unanimously and accused the agents of 
his enemies with threatening to freeze out of town those who 
supported him. It was the first live clash with the railroad and 
the land company, and Cook, with the art of an experienced poli- 
tician, made the most of it. He declared that the railroad agents 
had intimated that he must conduct his newspaper along lines 
that would meet with corporation approval, wink at their short- 

This house, l)uilt by Editor Francis Cook of the 
Herald in the late '7()s, stood on the corner now occu- 
pied by the Stoue-Fisher Company store. Editor 
H. C. Patrick of the News, later occupied it. Next 
south of it stood the J. H. D. Conger cottage, then 
the Donald McDonald home. This picture was fur- 
nished by A. T. Patrick, sou of H. C, and employed 
in the city light department. 


comings and keep still or learn his lesson. Cook made but one 
address in Tacoma in the campaign and this one, he alleged, the 
railroad people tried to break up but without success, and then, 
he further charged, that seeing sentiment was turning tow^ard him, 
the agents of the companies had made a "bread and butter can- 
vass of the town, demanding that the people vote against him." 

On election day the "interests" obtained possession of the 
polls and were oi)en in their demands that those obtaining work or 
business from the company vote against Cook. Cook was accused 
of playing false to his own town because he had addressed meet- 
ings in Seattle, Steilacoom and Olympia. The regular republi- 
can ticket was counterfeited and the names of the democratic 
nominees were inserted in the places of those of the republican 
party. C. D. Lewis, an agent of the Tacoma Land Company, 
and whose home was in Oregon, was one of the most active in 
distributing the bogus tickets, it was alleged, and it was charged 
that an effort was made to vote fifteen men from the steamship 
Alaska, one of the judges whispering to another, "Let them 
vote, for it will mean fifteen more for Caton." The ship's crew, 
however, was not allowed to vote. 

"jNIen in the employ of the railroad and land companies were 
given to understand that their situations in future depended upon 
the manner in which they voted," Cook charged. 

Xew Tacoma cast 177 votes for councilman, Cook receiving 
41 wliile J. S. Walker, democrat, received 136. In Steila- 
coom, Cook received 116 to Walker's eighty- four, and in 
Wilkeson Walker received 38 to Cook's 11. Pierce County 
gave Cook 402, and Walker 410, and Cook would have been 
defeated had it not been for the heavy vote which other counties 
in his district gave him. His majority was 81. Cook ^ soon 
started the first newspaper in Spokane, in which city he still 
lives, having amassed a fortune. He is a brother of C. A. Cook, 
who served the countv as assessor in 1913-15. 









One scarcely can comprehend the excitement and satisfaction 
that swept the little town when in September of '78 President C. 
B. Wright sent a telegram to General Superintendent Samuel 
A. Black, of the railroad company, saying that the railroad direc- 
tors had determined to push the line across the Cascades. 

Those who came west b}^ rail were transported a long dis- 
tance by stage, and to reach Tacoma they had to come by way of 
Portland. This was a condition entirely to the satisfaction of 
Portland which had exercised every possible trick that would pre- 
vent the constniction of the direct line over the mountains. In 
this program Portland Avas to receive a little later the powerful 
aid of Henry Villard, and the completion of the line yet was 
nearly ten years away. But President Wright's announcement 
was a reason for the keenest felicitation, and property values 
immediately went upward. It was the opinion that the Cowlitz 
Pass would be used, as it was supposed that the Packwood anthra- 
cite mines, which then were believed to be of value, would attract 
the line to that route. President Wright and all friends of the 
great enterprise were working vigorously for an extension of 
time from Congress in which to complete the line. 

The enlargement of the Xorthern Pacific shojDs and of Lis- 



ter's foundry, with the addition to the Lister estabHshment of a 
furniture factory owned by F. Bauerle, were incidents of the 
city's industrial growth in the spring of '81, and R. Mottau 
sought to keep the pace by making a three-story structure of the 
St. Charles Hotel, which stood where the Elks' fine temple now 
stands. This enlargement was achieved by digging out the 
foundations. And an indication of expanding culture was the 
formation of the Xew Tacoma Library Association, incorporated 
for $5,000, by J. W. Sprague, R. F. Radebaugh, W. H. Fife, 
A. J. Baker, Elwood Evans, J. S. Howell and C. D. Young. 

But the community was in alarm over the activities of Henry 
Villard, the brilliant Bavarian, who Avas becoming an inter- 
national figure in railroad development. His true name was 
Gustavus Hilgard. He took the other name after he came 
to America. He began his career as a newspaper reporter, be- 
came acquainted with prominent men and gradually developed a 
talent for railroad organization and amalgamation that astonished 
the nation. 

Villard's activities had become generally noticeable in 1868. 
He conceived the idea of uniting all the transportation interests 
of the Northwest, including the Xorthern Pacific Railroad, and 
early in this process it became evident to Tacomans that he was 
antagonistic to its interests. Little by little he had acquired stock 
in the Oregon Navigation Company until he controlled it, and 
he then bought the Ben Holladay steamers running between Port- 
land and San Francisco. He added a railroad running north 
from Sacramento. He organized a great corporation, and it is 
said that in his operations he procured from eastern capitalists 
more than $8,000,000 without informing them of the use to which 
he desired to put it. His star was rising so rapidly and faith in 
him was so great that rich men laid their purses before him. He 
was the railroad Napoleon of the '70-'80 period. 

With the $8,000,000 he began to buy Northern Pacific stock. 
A bitter fight ensued. Every effort was made to prevent his con- 
trol of this property. The fight found its echo in the newspapers 
of the Northwest. Portland was upholding Villard and fighting 
Tacoma; the Seattle press was hopeful that Villard might take 
from Tacoma the advantage she had gained in being made the 


terminus, and the greater advantage she would gain if the trans- 
continental line should be completed across the Cascades by way 
of Cowlitz Pass. 

Seattle had no use for Portland, to be sure, and her papers 
WTre not friendly toward Villard's plan of swinging the Northern 
Pacific line to the Columbia River, thus diverting all transporta- 
tion by way of Portland, but there was an intense animus against 
Tacoma, and that, played upon by the Villard interests, was used 
to the advantage of the Villard plan. Tacoma was between the 
upper and nether stones. The newspaper fight between Scott of 
the Oregonian and Radebaugh of the Ledger was sharp and 
continuous, Scott insisting that Villard had acquired the Xorth- 
ern Pacific and endorsing it, while Radebaugh declared it not to 
be true and deplored its possibility. Of com'se, if it were true, 
the unique experiment of running a railroad nearh^ 2,000 miles 
through an unsettled country and establishing at its far terminus 
a city on virgin soil, would lose many of its great possibilities, for 
Portland, already fairly well out of its swaddling clothes would 
be the beneficiary, and Tacoma, with Seattle in the favor of the 
Villard crowd, would be left on a branch line, possibly an insig- 
nificant bankrupt. 

It was an unhappy day for Tacoma when the news came that 
Villard had w^alked into the eastern offices of the Xorthern Pacific 
and demanded a voice in its management. President Billings 
waged against Villard week after week, and Villard finally took 
his case into court by bringing a suit against the Xorthern Pacific 
officials alleging that they had issued $18,000,000 worth of stock 
without consideration. This issue had been made for the purpose 
of continuing the constniction of the transcontinental line. 

The situation was made no easier for Tacoma when the O. 
R. & X. bought the Puget Sound Steamboat Line from 
L. ^I. Starr, paying $200,000. This transaction included the 
166-foot sidewheeler Xorth Pacific, a fine steamer, costing 
when she was built in San Francisco in 18T1, $123,000; the 148- 
foot side-wheeler, George E. Starr, costing $7.),000 when built in 
Seattle in 1879; the 142-foot Isabel, a side-wheeler, built in Vic- 
toria in 1866; the 154-foot, stern-wheeler, Annie Stewart, built in 
San Francisco in 1864; the 87-foot Otter, and the famous Alida,, 


a stern-wheeler built in Seattle in 1869. She M^as 107 feet in 
length and so cranky that she had to carry on her main deck 
forward a huge box of chain which was shifted from side to side 
by the crew to keep her on an even keel. Capt. Charles Clancey, 
still living in Tacoma, who had been master of the North Pacific, 
was made superintendent of the line. 

Tacomans scarcely knew^ what to make of the changing con- 
ditions, and the city barely held its own in poj)ulation through 
these doubtful days. The climax for the railroad came when 
President Billings resigned. Asbel H. Bamc}^ was chosen to suc- 
ceed him and Villard took a seat on the board of directors. Here 
in Tacoma, buildings that had been begun were left uncompleted. 
About forty structures were under way or construction was under 
contemplation. Work stopped; plans were pigeon-holed. Many 
new-comers who had expected to settle in Tacoma went to Port- 
land or Seattle. The tide of travel shifted, leaving Tacoma 
merely a point of transfer, and no longer a stopping place. There 
is no manner of computing how much the young city lost in the 
paralysis of its prestige by the Villard schemers. 

Portland and Seattle rejoiced, quite naturally, but they, too, 
paid the piper. For Villard, taking advantage of their good 
humor, disposed of large amounts of stock in both cities, but that 
stock lacked the capacity of sustaining merriment in its pur- 
chasers. It caused losses running into the hundred thousands, 
when Villard failed and his bubble burst. 

For several years the Seattle press and public were bitterly 
demanding the abrogation of the railroad's land grant, and a 
resolution to that effect had been introduced in Congress. A 
report w^as started, near Portland, that the officers of the rail- 
road had been hanged in effigy in Tacoma, and this report was 
wired to papers in Washington for its effect on members of Con- 
gress. General Sprague quickly denied this report, and called 
a mass meeting of Tacomans to protest against the resolution. 
Congress and the East partially lost interest in the proposal to 
abrogate the land grant, as the details of Villard's conduct of 
affairs became public. The early reports regarding his failure 
pictured him as a man broken in health and with fortune ruined, 
but later on the papers began to describe tlie undimmcd splendors 


of his New York mansion with his army of liveried servants still 
intact, which, of com'se, deprived him of sympathy and tended to 
emphasize the great work which the new management of the rail- 
road was performing in putting it on a sounder basis. 

C. B. Wright returned to the Northern Pacific Board in 1884, 
after having been out since Villard came in three years before. 
This was another step toward the recrudescence of Tacoma, but 
the city invited another determined attack from Seattle when a 
bill was introduced in Congress proposing to admit Washington 
Territory as a state under the name of "Tacoma." Delegate 
Brents, who introduced it, was denounced in Seattle as a "petti- 
fogger and third-rate lawyer," and he also was charged with 
wearing a Northern Pacific Railroad collar. Portland joined 
the chorus with kindred amenities. 

October 4, '84, Villard and a company of dignitaries had 
visited the Sound and spent a part of the day in Tacoma. A public 
meeting was held in Cogswell's Hall, and Elwood Evans 
extended a greeting to the visitors. Villard made a speech that 
seemed to extend the olive branch to Tacoma, and citizens 
accepted it as such until a day or so later they learned that he had 
made almost exactly the same speech wherever he had spoken in 
the Northwest. 

Tacoma's first commercial organization was formed in the sum- 
mer of '81. It was suggested by the energetic Editor Radebaugh, 
who called twenty men together in Bostwick & Davis' drug- 
store July 16. Five days later the committee on organization 
reported, naming the new body the New Tacoma Board of Trade, 
and the following men signed the roll: David Lister, J. Cogswell, 
E. N. Ouimette, H. C. Bostwick, W. B. Kelly, R. F. Rade- 
baugh, Thos. K. Brown, J. Halstead, Wm. Thompson, B. Bar- 
low, G. F. Orchard, S. H. Woolsey and M. J. Cogswell. Doctor 
Bostwick was made president; George E. Atkinson, first vice 
president; J. Halstead, second vice president; Thos. R. Brown, 
secretary and treasurer. In order to get crowds at the meetings 
Radebaugh walked from store to store, exhorting the proprietors 
to join the ranks. By the time he had visited all the stores he 
usually had a considerable crowd following him. The member- 
ship grew, but tlie Board of Tradq was not a brilliant success. 

I— I 




I— ( 


2 '^ 


3 8 


^ > 






f Ti 


Perhaps the good Doctor Bostwick was too gentle for the kind 
of leadership there required. There was considerable oratory at 
the meetings, which gave to the smaller fry an opportunity to 
enjoy its own reflections. John K. Burns usually had complaints 
to make, and his verbiage was not feathery. He started so much 
trouble that a plan was hatched among the members to elect him 
president and then never hold another meeting of the organiza- 
tion. His election highly pleased him and he invited the entire 
membershiiJ to the Halstead House for an oyster supper. Efforts 
to assemble the Board of Trade after this were futile. 

The summer of '81 also witnessed the formation of the first 
military organization at a meeting in Cogswell's Hall, with Doc- 
tor Bostwick presiding, and J. H. Wilt, school teacher and county 
clerk, as secretary. Geo. Bachman was elected captain; W. J. 
Fife, first lieutenant; F. B. H. Wing, second lieutenant; Howard 
Carr, George Farley, Wm. L. Moore and W. S. LeMay, ser- 
geants. In the ranks were Stephen D. Baker, Richard Walsh, 
George H. Martin, Calvin S. Barlow, Frank C. Ross, J. H. 
Junette, A. H. Lowe, I. INI. Howell, Eli B. Robinson, Wm. L. 
Moore, G. W. Mattice, G. N. Talcott, C. H. Danforth, Wil- 
liam P. Bonney, W. B. Kelly, James Griffiths, Freemont Camp- 
bell, E. L. Gruener, Dave Levin, A. J. Spencer, Charles Evans, 
J. C. Hewitt, J; H. Wilt, F. W. Hanson, J. F. Gates, E. O. 
Fulmer, J. B. King, J. W. Lister, W. B. Walker, C. T. Matson, 
J. L. Adams, A. P. Carr, Wm. S. Ritman, Alex. Hill, Richard 
Latham, George W. Chase, H. A. Bigelow, George W. Driver, 
Frank Tillotson, C. A. E. Naubert, H. C. Davis, H. F. ]McKay, 
Noel J. Hunt, George B. Kandle, E. W. Rea, John Forbes, A. 
A. Christie, Chas. Halstead, Chas. Ellis, A. T. Patrick, L. D. 
Patrick, T. Lambson, C. C. Spencer, F. D. Johnson, John Gay, 
W. P. Robb, Charles Sprague, S. L. Watkins, A. S. Abernethy, 
Jr., E. A. Sprague, L. E. Quade, Ed Smitli, R. D. Herrington, 
Samuel Henry, Stephen Parker, John Muntz, E. F. Plummer, 
G. :M. Granger, E. D. Robinson, E. ISl. Lambson, Harry llib- 
bard, ISIatt JNIcKenna, C. F. Allen and A. Urch. The company 
was named the Tacoma Rifles. 

Drilling at once was begun and assiduously pursued, and one 
of tlie first pul)lic duties of the Rifles was to ])articipate in the 


exercises on the day of the funeral of President Garfield, Sep- 
tember 26, 1881. There was a parade with Major Blake as grand 
marshal, and with the Board of Trade trustees, the Tacoma 
Kifies, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of 
Columbus, Grand Army of the Republic and volunteer firemen 
in line. The speakers were Elwood Evans, General Sprague and 
Rev. JNIr. De Vore. 

An exciting incident in connection with the death of the Presi- 
dent was the exercise of mob law against C. E. Spencer, a sewing 
machine agent. He was charged with having said that President 
Garfield was a knave and a rascal, a scrub and a swindler. A 
committee called on him and presented a "petition" signed by 126 
citizens requesting him to leave town forthwith. It was intimated 
that obedience would save him the pain and humiliation of worse 
treatment. He dej)arted, but stopped in Steilacoom to send back 
a defi or two. 

Construction of the Presbyterian Church on the lots now 
occupied by the Fidelity Building was under way. This church 
was .54 by 40 feet in size, with a tower 75 feet in height, and seats 
for 400. 

J. S. Howell — his first name was Josephus — was the Presby- 
terian leader of the community. The church had had occasional 
services since '70 or before, in Old Tacoma. In September, 1877, 
Howell, his wife Abigail, :Mrs. H. C. Bostwick, ^Mrs. D. W. 
Stairs, Charles Ellis, L. ^IcLaughlin and wife, George F. 
Orchard, JNIrs. S. M. Orchard and Francis Cook had presented 
a petition for the organization of a church to Rev. John R. 
Thompson, presbyterian minister. An attemjjt had been made 
in '73 to organize a congregation, the promoters being Rev. A. L. 
Lindsey. D. D., of Portland, and Theodore Crowl. The ener- 
getic Howell and fellow petitioners rej^resented eight states and 
provinces. Two members of the original congi-egation still were 
here. It was determined September 3, 1877, to use them as a 
nucleus, add the recruits of '77, and a week later the churcli name, 
"Presbvterian Church of Tacoma," was restored bv the Pres- 
bytery meeting in Port' Townsend. 

The reorganization took place in Fife Hall — above the Fife 
store, the cradle of many a worthy enterprise. Has this com- 





Built bv Jacob Halstead in 1879 


mimity sufficiently honored the tireless and loyal William H. 
Fife by naming a street after him? Let us at least permit no 
foolish sentimentality to change its name without first definitely 
fixing a greater monument to Fife. September 17th, Howell and 
Orchard were made ruling elders. It was not until February 13, 
'81, that these officers were ordained and installed by Rev. T. C. 
Armstrong. At the same service ]Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Baker 
and Mrs. T. C. Armstrong were received. jNIr. and jNIrs. Baker 
were the parents of ^Irs. W. H. Opie. G. F. Orchard was made 
first' clerk. Rev. JNIr. Armstrong served until November, 1884, 
by which time he had added 100 names to the roll. General 
Sprague gave one-quarter of the sum needed to build the first 
church. A substantial two-story manse was built where the 
Pioneer Bindery Building now stands. 

A roadway had just been opened on C Street and Robert 
Wingate was completing his handsome dwelling at C Street 
and Division Avenue. Gross Bros, paid $3,000 for two lots on 
Pacific Avenue south of Ninth Street and proceeded to build a 
two-story structure. They kept a sheep tied on the walk in front 
of the store — a bleating advertisement for the all-wool goods 

The first lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen was 
instituted in Tacoma by the grand officers assisted by M. H> 
Smith and Doctor Wing Augaist 26, with nineteen members, the 
officers being J. P. Chilberg, H. A. Stevens, G. W. Alexander, 
Henry Sutter, C. D. Young, G. F. Orchard, A. T. Patrick, W. 
H. Morrill, Frank Lunkley and James Bowlin. 

The big event of the autumn was the reopening September 2 
of the Halstead Hotel, or, as it then was called the "New Taco- 
ma Hotel." A few months before the hotel had burned. Hal- 
stead immediately replaced it with a larger structure. His 
new building was three stories in height and was 60 by 44 feet, 
with thirty-four rooms. T. B. Spring was the architect. Visi- 
tors came from all over the Sound and from Portland to enjoy 
the festivities attending tlie rededication, and money was not 
spared in the effort to out-Bacchus Bacchus. Dancing and drink- 
ing continued throughout the night, and there still is the unveri- 
fied eclio of a poker game u])stairs which continued uninterrupted 


for more than forty-eight hours and which illegally but effectu- 
ally transferred the title of some $30,000. No doubt the stake 
has grown with the years, but it certainly was a poker game for 
a small but ambitious town to be proud of. 

The first Pythian lodge was established in Tacoma October 
22, 1881, on petition of forty persons. The first officers were: 
H. Bigelow, P. C; Geo. J. Farley, C. C; E. O. Fulmer, V. C; 
Geo. A. Martin, P; G. W. Mattice, K. of R. and S.; C. S. 
Sprague, M. of F.; S. D. Baker, M. of E.; G. N. Talcott, M. of 
A.; A. A. Christie, I. G.; R. Thompson, O. G. The lodge had 
sixty-one charter members. 

The church and the lodge are important factors in all new 
communities as means of extending acquaintance. There were 
periods in Tacoma when strangers were more numerous than 
citizens. Anything that assisted the stranger in gaining grega- 
rious advantage was accepted, and both church and lodge throve. 
A member of one of the fraternal organizations in the late '80s 
says that, though he was a regular attendant at lodge meetings, 
there were evenings when he did not know ten persons in a room- 
ful. Frank B. Cole describes humorously the attempts that used to 
be made in the churches to introduce the strangers. "]\Ir. (Here 
insert a mumble) this is Mrs. (more mumbling)." Cole says it 
was the custom to introduce person after person in this way. It 
was impossible to remember all the new names. 












Up to 1880, there was not much to the town and it had a poor 
reputation for beauty. It often was rapped by the papers of the 
Northwest for its lack of paint, its mud and its stumps. Still, it 
was growing. In March of 1880 the new town had 300 inhabi- 
tants; in June by actual count it had 720, while the old town 
had 383. 

April 21, R. F. Radebaugh and H. C. Patrick, under the firm 
name of Radebaugh & Co. started the Weekly Ledger, which 
instantly took its place at the top among coast newspapers. Ably 
edited, forceful and newsy it attracted to the new city a 
much wider attention than it had had for some time. 

Radebaugh had been writing for the San Francisco Chronicle. 
Impressed by the widely-heralded discovery of the only bitiuiiin- 
ous coal mines on the coast, and by the importance of the land 
grant of the railroad and of its acquisition of the best harbor on 

- 263 


the Sound, he determined to come North and look over the situa- 
tion. This he did in June, 1879, and then was all the more con- 
vinced tliat here was his opportunity. He returned to San 
Francisco and wrote a numher of articles on Tacoma and the 
Northwest, and signed them "Rad," an abbreviation which he 
frequently used as a nom de plume. These articles fell beneath 
the eve of H. C. Patrick who was conducting a frail little weeklv, 
the Courier, in Santa Cruz. Later on Radebaugh was sent to 
Santa Cruz by the Chronicle, and Patrick, who knew of "Rad", 
though he never had met Radebaugh, interviewed him regarding 
tlie Northwest, and learned of Radebaugh's desires to start a 
newspaper in Tacoma. Patrick suggested that the Santa Cruz 
plant be taken to Tacoma. That removed a mountain for Rade- 
baugh who did not have sufficient capital. A bargain quickly was 

But the problem of getting the debt-burdened plant beyond 
the state line before the watchful creditors could set the constable 
after it was somewhat troublesome. Radebaugh conceived the 
idea of playing one typefoundry against another. He went to 
the rival of the creditor house and actually persuaded it to lend 
him $1,000 with which he squared accounts with the other, and 
then, by skillful maneuvering the plant was slipped to San 
Francisco and loaded aboard a steamer for Tacoma. If the 
operation loosed the tongue of gossip at the time it was not 
altogether just, for, had the concern remained in Santa Cruz it 
would have been engulfed in bankruptcy, with all creditors wail- 
ing, while, by bringing it to Tacoma, it soon began earning hand- 
somely and it was not long in liquidating all the debts it had left 

The venture was a success from the start. The pa^^er itself 
was not greatly profitable, but the job-printing end of the busi- 
ness was. Radebaugh had visited General Sprague and told him 
what kind of a paper he desired to establish, and asked Sprague 
for all of the railroad's job printing. Sprague told him that he 
was tired of parrot tracks on his official stationery, and gladly 
would take all his work from the aviarj^-j^rinting shop of the 
Moneys and give it to Radebaugh if Radebaugh conducted the 
kind of a newspaper he had promised. The Weekly Ledger was 
started April 22, 1881. 


Radebaugh was editor, and Patrick the business manager, but 
he also had facility as a collector of personal and other short items. 
He seldom wrote more than a few lines about anything. Rade- 
baugh wrote the important items and the editorials, and the 
paper quickly ganied a clientele and a state standing. Its office 
was on the southeast corner of Eighth Street and Pacific Avenue. 
It had a Xo. 6 Hoe press, which was turned by hand — a laborious 
task performed by any one who could be inveigled into it by the 
promise of 75 cents an hour. After a few months a small steam 
engine supplanted "man-power." 

Radebaugh was able, resourceful, industrious and sometimes 
vitriolic. He had many interviews with General Sprague regard- 
ing methods of attracting settlers, especially to the farm lands 
east of the mountains where it was imperative that j)roduction 
should begin and give the railroad something to carrJ^ He pro- 
posed to Sprague that the railroad pay for a large number of 
copies of the Ledger to be mailed to the farmers of California, 
many of whom Radebaugh, from his close acquaintance, with that 
section, knew to be dissatisfied. Sprague agreed, with the price 
at five cents a copy. Radebaugh at once made a trip to the 
Snake River Country and prepared a series of articles regarding 
it. This pabulum, supplied to the Californians, soon began bear- 
ing fruit, and a large number of them took advantage of the low 
land prices along the Northern Pacific Railroad, and many of 
them are still there, prosperous and happy. 

Theodore Hosmer, manager of the land company, had sold 
scarcely a lot in the six months before the establishment of the 
Ledger. The town was in a state of stupefaction. Merchants 
actually could be found asleep on their counters. Radebaugh and 
Patrick brought the tonic that put new iron in their blood. It 
was not a great while until the stockholders of the land company 
began realizing hopes long deferred. 

Rade])augh and Patrick parted company after a while, differ- 
ences arising over the question of extending the business. Rade- 
baugh desired to erect a building on l^roadway, where the 
Colonial Tlieater now stands, move into it and enlarge the busi- 
ness. Patrick objected. The result was that Radebaugh bought 
his partner out for $1,500 and moved to Broadway. Patrick 

Vol. 1—17 


then arranged a partnersliip with the JNIoneys, and a little later 
he bought the Pierce County News from George Mattice, and 
changed the name to the Weekly Tacoma News. Patrick was a 
conscientious and active man, gained many friends and made a 
success of his enterprise. 

One of the early newspaper writers of Tacoma was A. 
INIcGregor Gordon, said to have been a son of Lord George 
Gordon. To him Scotch whiskey was an ambrosia and his 
potations were frequent and deep. He was a graduate of the Uni- 
versity of Aberdeen and had been trained for the ministry. Rade- 
baugh valued his literarj^ talents and endeavored to keep liquor 
away from him, but it was a vain adventure. For if Radebaugh 
removed a bottle of Scotch from the depths of a waste basket, he 
soon found another in an old boot. The lord's heir kept bottles 
everywhere. He had a spaniel, "Nora," an animal of unusual 
intelligence and he had taught her many tricks. Late in '8*2 the 
dog was stolen and Gordon wept over most of the townsite in 
search of his pet. An arrest was made and the culprit was haled 
before Justice Alexander Campbell. One of the justice's man- 
nerisms was a grunt with a rising inflection between phrases, and 
in binding the prisoner over he remarked with judicial severity: 

"Some dogs are very valuable, huh! and this dog is valuabler 
than a horse! Huh!" 

Gordon was dismissed time and again by Radebaugh and he 
alwaj^s broke down and wept like a baby, protesting that he never 
again would drink, was reemployed, and then proceeded to repeat 
the circle of liquor, dismissal, tears and reinstatement, until the 
paper became a daily, when it demanded more attention than 
Gordon could give to it, and then the brilliant fellow drifted 
away into Canada, where some time afterward he wrote the cele- 
brated "Hoch, der Kaiser!" verses which later gave much trouble 
to an American admiral, and no doubt assisted to some degree in 
arousing the animosities that finallv led to the outbreak of the 
great European war in 1914. 

The AVeekly Ledger was of four pages, and the first adver- 
tisement that strikes the eye is that of Gross Bros., in the "Brick 
Store." The next was that of G. F. Orchard, who proclaimed 
his store as "the first in Tacoma," it having been established in 


187-1. Orchard was entitled to further honors. He was the 
father of the first twins born in Tacoma. 

Isaac W. Anderson was operating a number of lime kilns near 
Orting and was advertising his product. Other advertisers were 
The New Tacoma Iron Works, owned by David Lister; Clark & 
White, attorneys, the members of the firm being Frank Clark 
and Brook White; Hanson, Ackerson & Co.; Hatch & Co.; 
Nolan, the grocer; Otto Quade, wood worker; the Tacoma Land 
Company, and B. Barlow & Bro., meat dealers, with a slaughter 
house about where the Tacoma Tennis Club gromids now are. 
About this time the Barlows closed the slaughter house, and 
removed their operations to Lake View, which was a place of 
some importance. It was Steilacoom's railroad station, a 'bus 
line being operated to carry passengers to Steilacoom from the 
Northern Pacific line. 

At this time the railroad company was very active in its 
attempts to find a suitable mountain pass. Two years before a 
party under Engineer W. Milnor Roberts had explored Cowlitz, 
or Packwood, Pass, and now parties under the direction of 
Col. Isaac Smith were reconnoitering in the mountains with a view 
of finding an easier thoroughfare. In his party were V. G. 
Bogue, Charles A. White and D. D. Clarke, who had assisted 
Colonel Smith in laying out the townsite of Tacoma six years 
before, and who, in 1876, engineered the coal road up the Puyal- 
lup Valley, the completion of which in '78 had brought a new- 
prosperity to the community. White visited Pierson Pass, and 
shortly afterward he discovered a new pass about ten miles north 
of Mount Adams. He and others who were in the mountains to 
the southward of Tacoma discovered many evidences of a recent 
volcanic eruption. At length the choice of the engineers seemed 
to be centered on Natches Pass, and the papers of the Northwest 
were full of expression of hope that the Pend d'Oreille Exten- 
sion soon would be brought across the Cascades. But that still 
was nine years distant, with an acrimonious contest inters ening. 

V. G. Bogue later was sent to make a more careful examina- 
tion of "Tacoma Pass," or Green River Pass, and favorable 
reports came down from liim concerning it. About this time the 
Nortliern Pacific directors voted $40,000,000 with wliich to com- 


plete the road across the Cascades, though Villard and his chque 
did all they could to deflect or stop the enterprise. The Portland 
Oregonian ridiculed the undertaking and Oregon business men 
undertook by a studied campaign to discourage President Bill- 
ings and his board. 

The Episcopal women were collecting funds with which to 
start St. Luke's Church. A new jail had been built at the foot of 
Twelfth Street, but it was empty most of the time. There was a 
demand for a night watchman. Friday, April 30, an election was 
held in New Tacoma, the vote returning to office the old board of 
trustees. The balloting resulted : Theodore Hosmer, 96 ; David 
Lister, Sr., 96; Dr. H. C. Bostwick, 94; Stephen M. Nolan, 70; 
Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., 70; M. J. Cogswell, 40; J. S. Walker, 36; 
scattering, 10. Hosmer, who was then at the head of the Land 
company, was made president; E. Evans, clerk; Henry Williams, 
marshal; and George F. Orchard, treasurer. 

The largest steamer coming to Tacoma at this time was the 
Dakota, of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and her regular 
arrivals from San Francisco, with details of her passenger and 
freight cargoes, were important items of news. The Dakota 
also visited Steilacoom, where she took hooppoles — some- 
times in quantities of more than one hundred thousand — hazel 
hoops, and deer, beaver, skunk, otter and mink hides in great 

The Dakota's length was 270 feet; her breadth inside of her 
paddle-boxes was 38 feet, and 80 feet including the boxes ; depth, 
24 feet; registered tonnage, 2,100. 

Steilacoom was still the trade center, but Tacoma steadily 
was gaining, and early in 1880 began the agitation to move the 
county seat to the terminus. Complaint was made that the county 
records were illy kept in Steilacoom, and in danger of again being 
burned, as they had been some twenty years before, at a cost of 
$25,000 to the taxpayers. The escape from the old jail in Steila- 
coom, about this time, of R. G. McKay, charged with resisting 
an officer, did not help Steilacoom's defense. McKay whittled 
three holes through an oak door four inches in thickness, and 
succeeded in unlocking it, after which he removed a considerable 
section of brick from about one of the iron-barred windows. 


111 order to get a definite statement from the land company 
as to what it would do to induce the removal of the country seat, 
an appeal was sent to ^Manager Hosmer, signed by the follow- 
ing citizens: W. H. Fife, Dr. H. C. Bostwick, Frank Clark, 
P. D. Forbes, H. C. Davis, J. C. Mann, Louis Levin, J. D. 
Rupert, J. G. Grainger, S. D. Stewart, A. S. Parker, D. P. 
Wallace, G. M. Grainger, Gross Bros., E. G. Bacon, A. B. 
Graham, E. R. King, David Lister, John Forbes, John PI. Ben- 
son, Saul Parker, A. JNIcMillan, W. H. Morril, W. M. Lee, 
J. W. Woodard, Radebaugh & Co., S. Rhodes, S. Wilkeson, 
Jr., S. JNI. Nolan, Charles Eagan, Henry Williams, John Cogs- 
well, J. Halstead, S. F. Sahm, C. D. Young, G. F. Orchard, 
Joseph Geiger, J. S. Walker, Brook White, W. B. Black well, 
J. P. Chilberg, T. J. Spooner, P. A. Scott, B. Barlow k Bro., 
Elwood Evans, ]M. J. Cogswell, Otto Quade, H. R. Hatch & Co., 
and H. Williams. This list embraces the leading men of the 
community at the time. 

Hosmer replied to their apjDcal that the land company would 
assure free rent to the county offices for a year, and would give 
lots 7, 8, 9 and 10, block 906, as a site for the courthouse, this 
property being worth about $2,000. The lots described are just 
south of where the Tacoma Theater now stands. Thereupon the 
question went before the voters, and there followed much ran- 
corous debate. 

One of the strong arguments was that the county seat never 
had been located officially in Steilacoom, that Steilacoom never 
could expect the taxpayers to vote money for the erection of suit- 
able buildings in a decadent town, and that the county should no 
longer pay high rents for scattered offices for the county officers, 
as it had been doing in Steilacoom for years. Tacoma won five 
to one in the election. New Tacoma went republican by 70 votes, 
and W. B. Blackwell, one of the best citizens in the community, 
was elected countj^ commissioner to the great sin-prise of his oppo- 
nents. The total vote cast in the county was 895. Two years 
before, in 1878, it had been 839, and in 1870, 567. The county 
seat was removed to Tacoma November 12, 1880, and the officials 
were comfortably housed in tlie Tacoma Land Company's office 
building, where the Tacoma Theater now stands, until a court- 


liouse could be built, some months later, on the lots now occupied 
by the Colonial Theater, just south of the Tacoma Theater, on 

Some excitement was caused by the report that Pincus, 
Burkett & Smith of Steilacoom had been prospecting for gold in 
Chambers Creek and had found hopeful specimens of the 
precious metal. IVIany years before miners had panned $1.50 a 
day in the Nisqually. 

May 29, 1880, the first fire-fighting company was formed 
under the name of the "New Tacoma Hook and Ladder Com- 
pany, No. 1," and a handsome truck already had been completed 
by Otto Quade, Blacksmith John Muntz doing the iron work. 
The meeting for the organization was held in Smith's Hall, 
T. J. Spooner presiding. The election made J. Halstead, presi- 
dent; W. J. Fife, secretary; J. P. Chilberg, treasurer; T. J. 
Spooner, foreman; L. F. Griffith, first assistant foreman; L. M. 
Granger, second assistant foreman. 

Abigail Scott Duniway, famous in Northwest history, was 
then active in her equal suffrage campaign, and she spoke in 
Tacoma to small audiences. Her subjects were "The Hearth- 
stone" and "Liberty and Law." J. H. Wilt and Miss Lou JNI. 
Cramer were the school teachers, and they reported an average 
attendance of 76 pupils. The First Methodist Church was active, 
and gave an entertainment at which Frank C. Ross recited "The 
Dying Soldier," and W. J. Fife the "Deathbed Scene of Bene- 
dict Arnold." A. J. Baker, of Kansas, was visiting Doctor Bost- 
wick, discussing plans for the opening of the first bank, and they 
soon let a contract for the construction of a two-story frame 
building on the third lot north of Tenth street on the east side of 
Pacific avenue. Otis Sprague had just been made superintendent 
of the Pacific Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad, liut 
retained his position of general freight and ticket agent. J. H. 
Houghton simultaneously became land agent for the railroad. 
The Fourth of July celebration of this year was in Pu^^allup. 
Hon. Elwood Evans delivered the address, and a cannon brought 
from Port Townsend for the occasion boomed patriotic greeting 
to the day. 

The Open Temperance Society was formed in September, 

Opened in 1880 


1880, with C. S. Sanders, president; W. Charnock, vice president; 
L. L, Clifford, secretary; C. D. Young, treasurer, and E. Dud- 
ley, chaplain. The organization held frequent meetings and no 
doubt encouraged several individuals to abjure the bowl, but it 
did not diminish the number of saloons nor check their domination 
of public affairs. 

September 14 there arrived from Jasper County, Ind., Will 
Major and Alexander Kirkpatrick, who had driven overland with 
a span of mules, their journey covering 167 days. They reported 
that they had passed many immigrants, and that many of them 
w ere having difficulties owing to the scarcity of grass and game. 

A sidew^alk was ordered laid on Railroad Street (Commerce) 
between Eleventh and Thirteenth, lifting pedestrians out of a 
perfect sea of mire, and the first bakery opened. This was 
conducted b}^ the Plummer Bros., and was on the east side of 
Pacific Avenue just above Eleventh. Two more jewelers arrived, 
giving the little community five such establishments. The 
New Tacoma Literary Society was reorganized, and its first 
question for debate was: "Resolved, That woman should have 
the right to vote at our general elections." J. H. Wilt, the school 
teacher; G. W. jNIattice, publisher of the Weekly Tacoma Xews; 
C. A. Cook and J. W. Rowland upheld the affirmative, while the 
negative was argued by C. D. Young, J. H. .lunette, T. B. 
Spring and W. J. Fife. A considerable audience heard the 
forensics and the judges decided for the affirmative. Then the 
question was put before the house which also upheld the affirma- 
tive with a cheer. The matter soon was to be decided by the 

The furniture factory connected with the Lister plant at 
Seventeenth Street was enlarged. The Bank of New Tacoma 
opened with H. C. Bostwick, president; W. B. Blackwell, vice 
president; and A. J. Baker, cashier. George W. Alexander was 
building a handsome home at Baker and D streets, showing the 
northern movement in the residence section, and the Carbon Hill 
Mine was opened, an event of large importance to the community. 
Months had elapsed since the first work on this project began. 
The railroad had to be extended about three and a half miles 
to reach it. Its capacity was 150 tons daily. 


President Rutherford B. Hayes, Mrs. Hayes, their son, 
Gen. W. T. Sherman and his daughter, and other notables com- 
posed a party that visited Tacoma about the middle of October. 
They travelled about the Sound in the steamer George W. Elder, 
for the use of which they paid $250 a day, and they were the 
guests of General Sprague in Tacoma. 

A severe earthquake shock was felt December 6, 1880, at 5 :55 
p. M. Citizens were greatly alarmed and hastened out of their 
shaking houses. Many chimneys were damaged. A short time 
afterward a house which Chinese had built near the water in the 
region of the Half Moon yards fell down the bluif , taking tlie 
numerous occuj^ants with it. Several of them were badly bruised 
and cut. It was believed that the foundations of the house, none 
too solid at best, had been weakened bj^ the temblor. 

The Lister Foundry was humming with work. It was turn- 
ing out carwheels and other iron for the railroad building east of 
the mountains. The railroad shops just below were overrun 
with work, and added buildings and machinery to double their 
capacity. Many residences and business houses were being built 
and real estate was moving. Lots 3 and 4, block 803, were sold 
to Gross Bros, for $1,825, and other Pacific Avenue proj^erty 
brought $44 a foot. That was a signal for rejoicing. The town 
officials decided to build the "beach road" connecting the mill in 
Old Tacoma with the Blackwell, afterward the "Flyer," wharf, 
and called upon General Sprague for assistance, which he gave. 
The completion of this road was an important aid to vehicular 
traffic between the two towns. Heavy hauling had made the road 
over the hill almost impassable, and at best it was a long and hard 
journey for the horses. 

A curious complaint was made from the Nisqually Plains 
about this time, to the effect that eagles had become a great 
nuisance. Thev were very numerous, and were carrying away 
lambs in such numbers that the farmers were alarmed. Those 
were great days for hunters. A bag of 100 ducks on the Nis- 
qually Flats was not unusual. Wild geese were numerous. 
Hunters often brought in numbers of eagles, measuring in some 
cases seven feet from tip to tip. 

G. W. Driver, an engineer, who had been prospecting for 


coal, reported finding a wonderful fossil bed about one thousand 
five hundred feet above sea-level in the foothills of the Cascades. 
These beds showed fossils of salmon, smelt and cod. "Billy" 
Driver was a popular man of wide acquaintance, who had a 
considerable share in the development of the coal industrj^ in 
Pierce County and in exploring the Cascades and Mount Tacoma. 
He built a cozy little home on the rear of the lots now occupied 
by the handsome Anton Huth residence, and undertook to carry 
out an architectural idea which long had been fulminating within 
him. That was to build a water tank on his roof, covering the 
whole of it, but merged with the building itself so neatly as not to 
be recognized as a water-tank by the passerby. The theory 
seemed to be sound, but the tank itself was not. It gave way one 
day, sent the family flying to dry ground and soaked everything 
in the cottage. 

Examination of the oyster beds which had been planted two 
years before at Gig Harbor showed that the bivalves were grow- 
ing, and there was hope that the oyster industry might be added 
to the town's increasing list. Through the newspapers the atten- 
tion of hunters was called to the desirability of conserving the 
quail known as the Bob White, which had been multiplying 
satisfactorily since their introduction into this section by J. B. 
Montgomery, who had- them shipped from an eastern state. They 
first were released on Whidby Island. 

The town had excitement enough when, on the morning of 
January 1.5, 1881, the engine hauling the train up the Puyallup 
Branch fell through the trestle across what we now call the City 
Waterway. The train remained on the rails. There were 60 
passengers on board. The engine, which was of only 28 tons, 
plunged into 10 feet of water at low tide and sank into the silt. 
Engineer A. Barnhart, Fireman Dudley Smith,' and Brakeman 
F. W. Hanson managed to squirm out of the wreckage and were 
scarcely bruised, and Smith and Hanson were taken from the 
water immediately. Barnhart floated down the stream for some 
distance and was rescued by Nicholas Lawson barely in time to 
save his life. 

It was discovered that the current of the Puyalhqi Biver. one 
branch of whicli then emptied into the Bay above the trestle, had 


undermined it, and General Sprague proceeded to end that 
danoer bv throwin"' a 700-foot dam across the stream near where 
it left the main river. The engine remained in the Bay for many 
weeks, several contractors failing, at great loss to themselves, to 
raise her. She finally was lifted out with jacks. 

One of the severest windstorms in the city's history blocked 
the railroad with fallen trees, overthrew chimneys and twisted 
houses on their foundations January 25. Considerable damaeje 
was done up the valley. Shipping in the Bay suffered, and mill 
roofs were wrecked. 

The town's first night watchman was Louis Gaillac, appointed 
earlv in 1881. President Theodore Hosmer, of the town board, 
complied with the state law by publishing the liabilities and assets 
of the town, the amount on each side of the book being $427.37. 
There was $87.61 in the treasury. In July the population of the 
town was said to be 2,1,50. 

Two men who came to Tacoma in 1881, John P. Hovey and 
William H. Harris, were destined to have a considerable share in 
the community business in the years to come. They came on the 
Idaho, a short vessel that had the reputation of guaranteeing sea- 
sickness no matter how calm the sea. She rolled in all directions. 
When ^Ir. and jNIrs. Hovey climbed the "202 steps," with their 
two children, they were struck by the roughness of the place. 
There was not a graded street and scarcely a leveled lawn. 
Hove}^ became manager of the merchandise department of the 
Hanson, Ackerson & Co. mill, and he opened a clearing in the 
woods to build an eight-room house where the present fine home 
of ]\Ir. and ]Mrs. George Dickson now stands. In after years this 
house was removed to the lower side of Tacoma Avenue, between 
Tenth and Eleventh streets, where it remains. Hovev cut a 
trail between hi% home and Old Tacoma and walked. He was 
the pioneer in that section of the city, now the center of the city's 
best residence district. 

Harris had been robbed in San Francisco and had just enough 
money left to buy a second-class ticket to Tacoma. He did what- 
ever came to his hand to do in Old Tacoma to make a living while 
he studied law. For a time he w^as a carpenter in the mill. 
Among the clients who came to him after he had opened his law 

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office was ^Nlrs. jNI. IM. JNlcCarver, and this led to the marriage 
in 1883 of Harris to Ehzabeth McCarver, a handsome woman of 
much popidarity. Harris served as justice of the peace for sev- 
eral vears, was a member of the citv council and was otherwise 
honored by his constituency. Mrs. Harris is still living in 
Tacoma, and with her is her daughter, Julia, who has given much 
attention to Tacoma history, particularly that part of it centering 
in Old Tacoma, and to her the writer of this book is indebted for 
many suggestions. 

The land company sold lots 1, 2, 3 and 4,, block 1102, to 
A. McMillan for $600, and lot 8, block 1305, to Jos. Klee for 
$100. In '81 there were 504 names on the poll-tax list, as com- 
pared with 238 the year before. 

May 28 Bishop J. A. Paddock, whose wife had died in Port- 
land just a month before, met with the people in the "Brick 
Hall," at Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue, and it was decided 
to build a church and a school. This decision led finally to the 
building of the Annie Wright Seminary and St. Luke's Church. 
The meeting considered the advisability of opening a school in 
the old Herald office, a small frame house on the lower side of 
Broadway a few doors above Ninth. Dr. E. F. Miles, Theodore 
Hosmer, Charles JNI. Scott, Isaac W. Anderson and Isaac W. 
Smith were appointed as a committee to build the church and the 
school. Rev. 3Ir. Abell was the clergyman in charge, but he was 
succeeded in a few weeks by Dr. E. F. JMiles. It finally was 
determined to build a schoolhouse on the lots given by the land 
company for a church on St. Helens Avenue south of Seventh 
Street. A small frame structure was erected, and Mrs. W. R. 
Price was put in charge. The fees for pupils were 50 and 75 
cents and $1 a week, according to grade. It is explained else- 
where til at these lots finally reverted to the Land company and 
the Hyson apartments now occupy them. 

Rev. J. F. DeVore was sent to Tacoma by the conference in 
Portland in August, '81, to take charge of INIethodist affairs. By 
this time the town had so far regained the motion it had lost in 
the earlier months of tlie year owing to the Villard excitement 
that there were no empty houses, and INIr. DeVore had to send 
his family to Seattle to live until accommodations in Tacoma 


could be provided. DeVore then set to work with characteristic 
industry to build the First Methodist Church, which became the 
town's community center. It was built by gifts from men of all 
creeds and of none at all upon the understanding that the struc- 
ture should be used by any congregation that desired it. For 
several years community Christmas trees drew crowds to the 
church, and there were many humorous concomitants. At one of 
the celebrations the crier shouted: "jNIrs. Bostwick — a silk dress." 
"iNIrs. Halstead — a sewing machine." Then, "Isaac W. Ander- 
son — a bottle of yeast powder." That aroused the town's risibili- 
ties. Anderson a short time before had gone into the Cascades 
on one of the first scouting trips in search of a pass for the rail- 
road and at the foot of Mud JNIountain he undertook to bake a 
batch of bread to his own liking. He had had difficulty in getting 
enough to eat. By some curious mixture of the ingredients he 
produced a loaf that was swollen beyond the dimensions of any 
bread ever seen before and it was mostly air. Anderson ate 
heartily thereof, then proceeded to climb the mountain, attired 
in an enormous pair of rubber boots which a joking companion 
had persuaded him to wear on Mud Mountain, and he had not 
gone far until he fell in a faint, and his party was not sure 
whether he would ever get back home or not. This episode gave 
rise to the yeast gift that Christmas. 

Custer Post, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized 
June 2, 1881, with Job Carr, commander; W. A. Ramsdell, 
S. V. C; D. Bently, J. V. C; Wm. Peel, Adjt.; Howard Carr, 
Q. M.; P. Foster, C; H. A. Bigelow, O. D.; R. Miller, O. G.; 
A. P. Carr, S. M. ; A. E. Alden, Q. M. S. ; W. H. Rock, I. S. 

I. M. Howell, present secretary of state, was carrying the 
Seattle Post-Intelligencer in Tacoma. John E. Burns was 
endeavoring to arouse interest in the sale of lots in the Blinn 
Addition by the erection in Block 1910 of a 15-room residence, 
and as an additional spur to realty transactions there Jefferson 
Avenue was opened as far as Twenty-fourth Street. But there 
were ven^ few buildings below Plummer's Bakery, which stood 
where the Berlin Building now stands. 

Another house was added to the nondescript accumulation on 
the water front north of Seventh Street. This was a structure 


20 X 30 and of two stories, and it was designed to house 200 

At the election May 2, 1881, the balloting resulted: D. Lis- 
ter, 173; Theodore Hosmer, 88; ^I. J. Cogswell, 139; S. F. Sahm, 
104; G. F. Orchard, 89; B. Barlow, 74; J. S. Baker, 59; J. Hal- 
stead, 59; E. G. Bacon, 53; J. C. Hewitt, 30. The five receiving 
the high votes won. In Old Tacoma the result was : A. Walters, 
65; A. J. Babcock, 52; D. B. Hannah, o."); S. B. Baker, 57; Ira 
Bradish, 55. D. Lister became president, or mayor, of the new 
town and A. Walters of the old. An incident of this period was 
the closing of the butcher shops on Sunday. It was perhaps the 
first step toward Sunday observance in the business part of the 
community. The stores all opened early and they closed late, 
some of them welcoming patrons until 10 p. m. The stores w^ere 
the amusement resorts of the community, and crowds of men 
gathered about the stoves every evening to gossip and contrive 
their practical jokes. Xow^ and then a little traveling troupe of 
players came through, and invariably played to packed houses. 
The churches endeavored to cater to some extent to the keen 
appetite for amusement, and the lodges perfoniied their share of 
this function. Perhaps it should be noted that an A. O. U. W. 
entertainment in April, '81, when George W. Alexander was 
master vv-orkman, received a notice a column and a half in length 
in the Ledger, the musical critic indulging in adjectival ecstasies 
over the rendition of "Clayton's Grand March" by Miss H. A. 
Potter and ]Mr. J. Murray, and a piano solo, "Lih^ Dale, with 
variations," bv Mrs. C. X. Scott. 

In the autumn of '81 the Northern Pacific pay-roll included 
80 men and they received about $5,000 a month ; the Hanson mill 
had 120 men and paid out $18,000 a month; Lister & Co., 
founders, 35 men, $2,500 a month; the mill of Hatch & Co. 
employed about a dozen men. Many of the employees were 


1881 — smxvllpox scourges the community shotgun quar- 
antine doctor wing dies from worry and fatigue 

bonney's fumigating room-^-first cargo of wheat taken 

storm does much damage baptist church organized 

coal bunkers completed annie ayright seminary cor- 




October of '81 witnessed the beginning of a smallpox scourge 
that prostrated the community. The contagion was widely dis- 
tributed that autumn, scarcely a city on the coast escaping, but 
none had a worse experience than Tacoma. Two adults and 
a child had died before the disease was diagnosed as smallpox 
by Doctor Bostwick, but Dr. A. M. Ballard, in a signed 
statement in the papers, called it chickenpox. Doctor ]Miles also 
pronounced it chickenpox. Dr. F. H. B. Wing, the health officer, 
warned the pul)lic when the first cases appeared, but the signed 
statement and the disagreement among the jihysicians, with the 
majority of opinion in favor of the chickenpox theory, lulled the 
public into a false security. 

It is not known how many cases of smallpox there were. 
Estimates reach as high as 150. It is not known how many died. 
Some estimates have been as high as fifty, but there probably 
were fewer than twenty. The town was shut off completely 
from intercourse with its neighbors. The trains ran through 
with windows closed, and at the wharf they entered a 
stockade, in which the transfer of passengers to and from 
the boats was made. The townspeople, outside of those who 



lived in the corral on the wharf, were not permitted there. They 
could not take trains or boats out of the city. Puyallup and 
Steilacoom established a shotgun quarantine to prevent persons 
from the stricken town from reaching these two places. Barri- 
cades were built across the roads, and behind the barricades were 
armed men. Weeks passed with no money in circulation. The 
grocery stores in many cases set their deliveries on stumps near 
the stricken homes. Several of the stores closed entirely. 
Churches and scliools were closed and all assemblages forbidden. 
Funeral after funeral was held in the night. 

Doctor Wing worked night and day in his efforts to stamp 
out the scourge. He had been bitterly attacked when, in the 
beginning of it, he had called it smallpox. He expressed the fear 
to his friends that the laxity with which the situation liad been 
met in the first place might actually wipe out the city. He 
regarded it as a most precarious situation, and day after day he 
visited the stricken, many of whom were suffering alone and 
depending altogether on the Doctor's intermittent nursing. He 
closed their eyelids in death and assisted in the rude preparations 
for burial. At last the back of the plague was broken, and little 
by little the community returned to a normal condition. Doctor 
Wing, however, was a broken man from his ceaseless vigils and 
his worries, and his friends urged him to go South for a rest. 
He made his plans, and late one afternoon stepped into Editor 
Radebaugh's office to bid him good-by, then walked slowly to his 
office a short distance away to retire. He was not again seen 
alive. About two days later an investigation revealed his dead 
body. Death had come to him while he slept, and it was the death 
of a true martyr. 

William P. Bonney had a drugstore on Pacific Avenue, oppo- 
site Eighth Street, and in a tiny rear room he fumigated the 
inlia])itants. He cut a liole in a door, through whicli the patron 
breathed while the room was filled with the fumes of burning 
sulphur. For this operation a charge of 2,5 cents was made, and 
many persons took advantage of tlie low price. JNIr. Bonney also 
sold a little tin box filled with carbolic crystals, to be carried about 
in the pocket as a guard against contagion. Carbolic acid baths 
were taken by some persons two and three times daily. The old 
steamer Alida was used as a pesthouse. 


Small pox was brought to Taconia by the family of John 
Thanaii, who lived on Pacific Avenue at about Tenth Street. 
His father-in-law died and his four children were very ill. 
Thanan was a waiter at the Halstead House, and there was a 
great commotion among the guests there when it was found that 
he had the disease. The proprietor sought to allay the fear by 
inserting in the news2)apers an advertisement denouncing those 
who had started the report of a case of smallpox in the hotel. 

In the summer of '82 jNIr. Bonney moved his store to what is 
now 936 Pacific Avenue, and was ridiculed by many of his 
aquaintances for going so "far back in the woods." Five steps 
led to the front door of his store. INIany of the stores were 
perched high. Some were on a level with the walks, while others 
were below. The walks themselves were not level. The pedes- 
trian must have a care where he stepped ; night travel was preca- 
rious, and not safe without a lantern. 

Amid gi'eat rejoicing the first cargo of wheat taken from 
Tacoma was carried by the steamer Dakota, November 5, 1881. 
Getting the wheat here to be shipped required ingenuity and per- 
sistence, and I. W. Anderson and the other leaders in the enter- 
prise were busy for days. It foreshadowed greater things for the 
toMn when the railroad finally should be completed across the 
mountains. Captain Gilkey was the master of the Dakota, and 
he joined Avith the town's promoters in emphasizing the difficulties 
of the Columbia River bar, and the advantages of Tacoma's safe 
anchorages. He said that, calculating towage and other expenses, 
it would cost his ship $3, .500 to go to Portland after wheat, while 
the whole expense of coming into the Sound was only $200. 
Balfour & Guthrie, of Portland, who already had eyes on 
Tacoma, furnished the cargo for the Dakota, the rate being 90 
shillings and the destination the United Kingdom. Captain 
Gilkey was banquetted and feted and given a gold watch by his 
Tacoma friends. 

The year 1883 opened with unusual cold and with a storm of 
great severity. There was skating on all the lakes January 11, 
and on the old bed of the Puyallup River. A wind storm swept 
the steamers Alida and Isabel from the wharf out to sea, drag- 
ging their anchors. They were recovered by the Otter. ]Much 


damage, was done along the water front, a large boom at the 
Hanson mill being widely scattered. January 16 another severe 
storm undid all the repairs that had been begun, and added 
about twenty-five thousand dollars damage to what had gone 
before. This was one of the most disastrous winds in the city's 
history. February 1.5 the mercury fell to 11°. It put a stop to 
work on 160 buildings and the excavations for 60 more. 

The Baptist Church was organized on that cold February 
evening by Rev. Mr. Beavan of Victoria, in the Pincus & Pack- 
scher Hall, on the southwest corner of Eleventh Street and 
Pacific Avenue. ]March 8, the Y. JNI. C. A. was formed with the 
Rev. Mr. Bonnell as president. It took over the furniture of the 
Tacoma Literary Society, and soon bought lots 19 and 20, block 
905. A reading-room was opened, with Isaac Durbarow in 
charge. The Odd Fellow^s took the lots adjoining the Y. M. C. A. 

In A])ril the coal bunkers were completed at a cost of 
$250,000. This structure attracted wide attention, several of the 
scientific magazines printing descriptions and pictures. The 
Weekly Ledger became a daily April 8, '83. The Tacoma Gas 
Light Company was organized by J. W. Sprague, Robert Win- 
gate and Jos. H. Houghton, and the Tacoma National Bank 
opened ^lay 13. The town was growing southward rapidly 
enough to w arrant the building of a sidewalk on the west side of 
Pacific Avenue from Eleventh to Thirteenth. The Germans 
were completing a ^Methodist Church on D Street, near Thir- 
teenth. Eleventh Street was ordered opened to K Street, but it 
still was almost impassable. In June the W. C. T. U. was organ- 
ized. In July ground was broken for the Tacoma Hotel. This 
site had been occupied by Otis Sprague's residence which was 
moved to Twelfth and A streets. General Spragiie suggested the 
building of this hotel. He contemplated a neat structure, costing 
about thirty thousand dollars, but the more ambitious plans of 
the Land Company managers made the furniture alone cost more 
than that, and gave to the city a hostelry that quickly gained 
national renown. C. B. Wright visited Tacoma late in July, and 
the community honored him with an illumination, much display 
of bunting and a reception in the Al])ha Opera House. 

Mr. Wright was present at the completion of St. Luke's 

Vol. I— IS 


Church, for the building of which he had given $35,000, as a 
memorial to his dead wife and daughter Katie. The handsome 
stone structure was dedicated August 22 by Bishops Paddock and 
]\I orris. 

Bishop Paddock laid the corner-stone for Annie Wright 
Seminary, endowed with $.50,000 more of JNIr. Wright'smoney. 
The jDrincijjal address was made by Governor Xewell. Miss 
Annie Wright, daughter of C. B. Wright, placed the box in the 
corner-stone, and ]\Ir. Wright guided the stone into position. 
An organ for St. Luke's arrived from Philadelphia friends. Rev. 
Dr. Love joy came from Philadelphia to take charge of the Fanny 
Paddock Hospital. 

The building of the Annie Wright Seminary almost cost 
Bishop Paddock his life. While he was in the East raising money 
for Washington College, the contractor who was building the 
seminary failed, and the Bishop was obliged to turn back and 
raise many more thousands of dollars to complete the work. He 
broke down under the strain, and never was robust afterward. 

John Adams Paddock was born in Norwich, Conn., January 
19. 182.5, the son of Seth B., also an Episcopal minister — rector 
of Old Trinity in Xorwich. John and his brother Benjamin both 
studied for the ministry and both achieved high posts in the 
church. Benjamin became bishop of JNIassachusetts and John, 
becoming rector of St. Peter's in Brooklyn in 18,56, was made the 
first missionary bishop of Washington territory in 1880. In 18.57 
he had married Fannie Chester Fanning, of Hudson, N. Y. 

It was a severe wrench to them to sever the friendships of a 
lifetime to undertake with their five children the long journey 
across the continent, which then could not be made in less than 
ten days. Bishop Paddock was five weeks in covering the dis- 
tance, as he stopped in many places and spoke to many audiences. 
His westward journey was in fact a sort of triumphal journey. 
Mrs. Paddock, enthusiastic over the beauties of western scenery, 
exposed herself too long on the open platform of a LTnion Pacific 
train and caught a severe cold, in spite of which she insisted on 
making the ocean trip from San Francisco to Portland in order 
that her husband might begin his work in Washington Territory 
on Easter Sunday (1881), which he did, preaching his first serv- 

The few Chinese shacks in the foreground were Inirned in 1885 



ice in Vancouver. April 29 ]\Irs. Paddock died from typhoid- 
pneumonia at St. Helens Hall, where she and her family were 
the guests of Bishop JNIorris, who had estahlished the school some 
years before. The first time the children entered Washington 
Territory it was with the body of their mother, which was buried 
in the little cemetery in Vancouver. The children were Alada 
Thurston, age twenty-three; Fannie Fanning, fifteen; Robert 
Lewis, eleven; Ellie JNIorgan, nine; Florence Hubbard, six. 
Mrs. Paddock was a woman of much executive ability and broad 
•sympathies, and all through her married life she was a leader in 
benevolent efforts. She organized, and for years was the presi- 
dent of, the Sheltering Arms Nursery in Brooklyn and was asso- 
ciated with many other similar enterprises, and her first question, 
after her husband was made bishop, was, "What do they need out 
there?" She was told that a hospital was the one crying need, 
and at once she began a campaign among her Brooklyn friends. 
"I'm going to build a hospital," she said. "Won't you give me a 
brick?" She brought West with her about five hundred "bricks." 
When the news of her death reached Brooklyn, friends deter- 
mined that a hospital should be her monument, and at once they 
began sending gifts to the Bishop. On the first anniversary of 
her death the Fannie C. Paddock INIemorial Hospital, a frame 
building on Starr Street, Old Tacoma, was dedicated by Bishop 
Paddock, and it proved a Godsend to the community. Hundreds 
of men from mills and logging camps and railroads were cared 
for, and many a person, far from home and friends, found there 
kindly care, health and happiness. In after years the new hos- 
pital was made possible by the gift of the block on J Street, 
between Third and Fourth streets, and by donations of $500 each 
from Abraham Gross, Nelson Bennett, Allen C. Mason and 
Isaac Anderson. These were followed by smaller donations. Alt 
of the superintendents up to the time of Dr. Charles McCutcheon 
were clergymen. Doctor McCutcheon's whole-souled Irish 
geniality and his professional abilit}^ made the hospital a par- 
ticular asset to the community. 

Thirteen hundred tons of pipe were on their way 'round 
the Horn for Tacoma's first gasworks. J. P. Feaster o])ene(l tlie 
first business college. Contractor Schweirdtman was building the 


Haiike livery barn on A Street. It now is a part of the T. R. & 
P. plant. Donald McKay was planning a $20,000 residence, to 
be built just north of the present University Club for E. S. 
(Skookum) Smith. Edwin Eels was appointed Indian agent, a 
post he filled with ability for many years. 

Coal was coming in from the mines at the rate of from one 
hundred to one hundred and fifty cars a day, the municipal pay- 
roll was about $3,000 a month. F. Tarbell & Co. were offering 
lots in the Hayden Addition, just west of the present Union 
passenger station, for $100 each, and sidewalks were being 
extended on the east side of Pacific Avenue from Thirteenth to 
Sixteenth streets. 

The first franchise was granted to the Sunset Telephone Com- 
pany March 22, '83, to run for 25 years, its poles to be eight inches 
square at the butt and four inches at the top, painted white. 

E. W. Melse canvassed the town in October for subscribers, 
and it was joyfully announced that, 2.'5 subscribers having been 
procured, the equipment would be shipped at once from San 
Francisco. It came in due time. The first instrument was placed 
in the News office, in the name of H. Patrick, the publisher. 

April 4, 1884, the first exchange was opened with twenty-two 
subscribers. Following are the names: 

John S. Baker, Bank of New Tacoma, R. G. Burton, Chil- 
berg & Macready, W. H. Fife, Hooker & Ashton, G. Kuhn, 
H. Patrick, Isaac Pincus, Tacoma National Bank, Williams, 
Grainger & Co., Tacoma Trading Co., Tacoma Land Co., 
Tacoma Furniture Co., Radebaugh (Daily Ledger), Lister, 
Houghton & Co., Wm. Bradley, Hatch & Co., R. F. Radebaugh, 
P. A. Paulsen, W. P. Bonney, C. W. Harvey. 

Of the original twenty-two, eight are still subscribers, having 
had continuous service. They are John S. Baker, James M. 
Ashton, Isaac Pincus, Tacoma Trading Co., Tacoma Land Co., 
R. F. Radebaugh, Wm. Bradley and W. P. Bonney, ^I. D. 

Of these "Old Faithfuls," three are still receiving service on 
their original telephone numbers — James M. Ashton, Main 10; 
Tacoma Trading Company, Main 21 ; and Tacoma Land Com- 
pany, JMain 18. 

The office was in a small store-room on Pacific Avenue near 


Ninth Street, and was in charge of A. C. Sands, on a commission 
basis. It soon overreached this arrangement and Mr. Sands was 
made manager. He remained continuonsly in the employ of the 
company nntil his death in 1911. 

In 1885 the office was moved to another bnikhng in the same 
vicinity and a larger switchboard installed. In about one year 
more this equipment had been increased to three such switch- 
boards, taking care of 1.50 subscribers. Inside of three years the 
office again was moved, this time to the second floor of the JNIason 
Block, on South Tenth and A streets, where another new type 
switchboard was jjlaced. After two years more this board was 
outgrown and a still different t^q^e was installed. This S3\stem 
remained in use until 1896, when another improved switchboard, 
which enabled the subscribers to signal the operator without the 
aid of a hand generator, was placed. 

Coincident with the installation of this switchboard, a new 
transmitter was introduced, known as the "Hunning" transmitter 
and designed for talking over long distances. This still is in 
general use. Before that the "Blake" transmitter, which was 
quite satisfactory for local conversations but not suitable for long 
distance work, w^as the only transmitter in use. It was a decided 
improvement in the tele2:)hone art — no ringing to signal the opera- 
tor and long distance conversations could be held as easily as those 
within the same city. These improvements also simplified the 
construction of the instruments furnished, and therefore a new 
telephone set was placed immediately at each subscriber's 

The telephone business was now making rapid strides, which 
necessitated new quarters, and a building was planned. This 
building, which was the first the company owned in Tacoma, and 
now known as the jNIain Exchange, was completed in 1901, but 
was only one-half the present size. This building was put into 
service on Sunday, July 28, 1901, with 2,924 subscribers. 

There was also completed at the same time the first unit of 
underground system, which covered a distance of about one and 
one-half miles. Additions constantly have been made to tliis 
initial installation and Tacoma now has a very complete under- 


ground system, covering the entire business district and reaching 
far into the residence sections. 

The switchboard again proved inadequate, and in order to 
install the most modern and improved equipment, known as the 
No. 1 JMultiple Common Batteiy board, it was necessary to 
double the size of the building. This addition was completed in 
1907 and on March 1.5th the new board was put into service. This 
also required a new type telephone for each subscriber, and the 
changes were made as rapidly as possible. 

The rapid development of the city at this period w^as proving 
that the capacity of the Main Exchange soon would be reached, 
and consequently two branch exchanges, one in the north, and 
the other in the south, end of the city, were planned. The Proc- 
tor office was completed and put into service May 2oth, 1912, and 
the iNIadison office was transferred from temporary quarters into 
the new building, November 22, 1913. 

These two exchanges are equipped with the standard com- 
mon battery multiple s^vitchboards and both buildings furnished 
complete with storage-battery plants, dynamos, motors, racks, 
test-boards and all the other modem accessories, considerable of 
the equipment being duplicated so that in case of trouble to one 
part of the apparatus the other may be placed in service. 

At present the company owns and operates four buildings to 
accommodate its business. The commercial offices are in a fire- 
proof building at 919 ^larket Street. Albert E. Dean was the 
first salaried employe of the company in Tacoma. He was at first 
temporarily employed from time to time as emergencies required 
and finally placed on a regular salary. He is still employed as a 
switchboard man and has the remarkable record of never having 
lost a day's pay. John Schlarb, the popular manager of the com- 
pany, took that position in 1903. He had gone to Alaska with 
the company's construction forces in 1898. He served there as 
clerk, stenographer, lineman and in other capacities and when 
the lines were complete he was put in charge. His energy, tact 
and general efficiency gave him rapid promotion, for in five years 
he was made Tacoma manager. Tacoma now uses more than 
14,000 telephones. 

In the middle of September the community celebrated another 


visit by Henry Villard, much as it disliked him. The Alpha 
Opera House was decorated with hop vines and an agricultural 
show was given there for Villard. Under a new territorial law 
the saloons of Tacoma were closed on Sunday in August, and 
many hinges never before used, creaked their futile protests. 










w. J). Tyler's coming — n. p. makes sweeping reductions — 




In 1883 the growing community demanded a more adequate 
water supply than that furnished by the old Fife plant, with its 
tank at Xinth and D streets. It was supplying only a part of 
the inhabitants. JMaii}" j^ersons were depending upon the springs 
which gushed out in the lot where the Fidelity Building now 
stands, at Xinth and Pacific, where the City Hall stands, at 
Seventh and Broadway, and at several other places. 

Several Chinese gardens had developed along the west side 
of Broadway, and extending uj) St. Helens Avenue. Some of 
them had their own irrigation systems, employing the rills that 
trickled from the steep banks back of them. Especially popular 
was Avhat became known as the "Presbyterian Spring," where the 
Fidelity Building stands. It continued to slake town thirst until 
1891 when the Fidelity Building was begun. It then was walled 
in and for some time it was pumped through the offices, and such 
was its fame that the use of it added to the rental value of the 



building. Later, the city authorities expressed a fear that it 
might be contaminated, and its use then was restricted to the 
boilers, and the steam that now pours from the stacks of the tall 
building is the evaporation of the old "Presbyterian Spring." 

In 1883 Burns & ^letzler burrowed into the hillside beneath 
the Burns residence at No. 94.5 D Street, driving the tunnel from 
the alley and tapping a number of springs. In the rear of lots 
19, 20 and 21, block 909, they built a flume Sl/o x T feet and 3.50 
feet long to carry the water from the tunnel. This flume 
diagonally crossed the alley and passed through lot 21, block 
908, crossed D Street, then bent a few feet northward and 
entered the reservoir, 23 x 26 feet, and ten feet deep, which 
stood on lot 20, block 907, abutting on D Street. The capacity 
of the reservoir and the flume was 100,000 gallons. From the 
reservoir a four-inch main was laid across lots down the hill to 
Pacific Avenue, supplying on the Avay a Chinese laundry on the 
back end of a Broadway lot, which was at the time the onlv 
institution on the street that wanted water. In front of lot 22 
the main joined the Pacific Avenue main which to the north 
w^as a two-inch wooden pipe as far as Tenth Street, then a one- 
inch galvanized iron pipe to its end, a little more than half 
way to Xinth Street. South of the point of union with the 
main supply the Pacific Avenue main was a three-inch wooden 
pipe to a point a short distance below Thirteenth Street, and then 
a two-inch main ran to Fourteenth Street. In Twelfth Street a 
1 ^/4-inch galvanized pipe carried the water to a one-inch main in 
A Street which ran less than a block to the north and to the 
south. Tacoma at this time had a few more than a thousand 
inhabitants, and a considerable number of these lived in Old 
Tacoma, which had had a water plant of its own for ten years. 

The Burns & jNIetzler water system was much better than the 
Fife, but it was not by any means what the community desired 
and it was of short life. C. B. Wright's favor was beginning to 
illuminate the future of the city in a greater way than ever. The 
details of the Burns & Metzler plant are set out here witli the 
aim of showing, by contrast ])etween it's puny arteries and 
the elaborate and costly system of today, how wonderful has been 
Tacoma's growth in a brief thirty-three years. 


Even while Burns & Metzler were building their little plant, 
the city council was negotiating with Mr. Wright for water and 
gas, and a water franchise was granted to him while he was here 
attending the ceremonies incident to the laying of the corner 
stone of Annie Wright Seminary. He had explained his 
elaborate plans, the community was much pleased, but both were 
to suffer vexation and grief in the years to come. June 10, 1884, 
Wright incorporated a $300,000 company with General Spragiie 
as president, and J. H. Houghton as secretaiy, and employed 
Gen. Isaac Smith to draft the plans. In a little while General 
Smith had recommended Tule Lake, a small body of water about 
a mile and a half north of Spanaway Lake, as a suitable source of 
supply. Soon however it was decided to tap Spanaway Lake, 
^\hich increased the quantity but not the quality. Tule Lake got 
its name from the fact that "cattails" grew abundantly in it. 

In the fall of '83 John Watson went East to buy the machin- 
ery for what in after years was known as the Watson & Olds mill, 
at the head of the bay. The building still stands there and is used 
by the Reliance Lumber Company. Watson invested about 
$30,000. He had four run of stone and two rollers, and an 
80-horsepower engine. The capacity was 100 barrels daily. 
A well was driven and the roar of its waters could be heard at a 

The attempt to join the two towns was carried on, the charter 
committee finally reaching a vote, the result being 14 to 12 in 
favor of the union. Elwood Evans, city attorney, was sent 
to Olympia to ask the legislature to legalize the amalgamation, 
but he withdrew the bill when opposition arose, the Hanson 
mill and some other interests in Old Tacoma finding objection to 
the measure. Later, however, the opposition was appeased. 
W. B. Blackwell, then a member of the Legislature, or of the 
Council, as it was called, reintroduced the bill and it passed 
November 23, 1883. It provided a debt limit of $2,500. The 
population of the new town then was about 4,000 and of Old 
Tacoma about 400. The measure provided that the union of the 
cities should become a fact in the following January, and at 
once there began an effort to start off the united communities 
with an able administration. 




'.om FOUNDATiO: 


Walter St. John, druggist, carried a candle into a dark corner 
of his store on the afternoon of October 19, '83, and opened a can 
of gasoline. The resultant fire loss was about $19,000. St. 
John's store and his household effects on the second floor were 
destroyed. He was left penniless as he had no insurance. G. H. 
Merriam's residence, Ouimette's store and Ouiniette & Tar- 
bell's real estate office, were burned. Kindly citizens raised a 
purse of $700 for St. John and he reopened a store just below 
the corner of Pacific Avenue and Eleventh, where the People's 
Store stands. Richard Vaeth early in '84 opened a jewelry 
store in a corner of St. John's establishment. The day after the 
fire a meeting was held in the Young Men's Christian Association 
to organize a fire department. C. A. Richardson was elected 
president; H. K. Schultz was made foreman, with H. T. aSIcKay 
and H. Thomas as his assistants. It was proposed to buy a hose 
cart at once. The insurance rate on Pacific Avenue at this time 
was 9 per cent the thousand. 

Captain Winslow offered to furnish a hose cart, equipped 
for $1,400 and his proposal was accepted by the council after 
much discussion, but he waited several months for his pay. This 
was due to no fault of his, but rather to the council's disgust with 
itself. For, after the hose cart had been bought and had been 
rolled into tlie street in all its painted glory to be admired by the 
populace, a test at a hydrant disclosed the humiliating fact that 
there was barely enough water to trickle dispiritedly from the 
polished nozzle. The poor councilmen were ridiculed without 
mercy. The episode had some effect, however, in hastening the 
coming of better water facilities. 

The fall of '83 witnessed the opening of the first kindergarten, 
by Mrs. Merkel, on D Street ; the letting of the contract for the 
first I. W. Anderson residence at 440 South C Street, now the 
Young Women's Inn. This house was occupied for many years 
by Stuart Rice. The arrival in Tacoma of the first refrigerator 
cars, carrying ten tons of live oysters to be planted near Yictoria 
was another event ; also the beginning of the filling in of the bay 
for the Half Moon yards; the placing of -v^ires between Tacoma 
and Kalama for the exclusive use of the Western Union Tele- 
graph Company; the erection of a new postoffice building by 


Postmaster Sampson, on the north side of Tenth Street; the 
letting of a contract by the land companj^ to clear 400 acres in 
"South Tacoma," by which name the section about Twenty- fourth 
Street then was known. The Central Hotel, still standing on 
Pacific Avenue, was just being completed bj^ Contractors Nolan 
& 3Ietzler, its rooms with their $10,000 furnishings, and the 
cuisine being so popular that the proprietor, George Kuhn, could 
not find room for half of those who applied. J. jM. Grant was 
doing a considerable business in shipping fir, cedar, and hemlock 
seeds to France, Germany and Switzerland, receiving $o a pound 
for hemlock, $4 for cedar and $3 for fir. John Huntington took 
the contract for the brickwork on the Tacoma Hotel — a work 
that required 700,000 bricks. 

Not infrequently a deer, driven out of the woods above the 
city, dashed through the streets, blaster ]\fcchanic Foi-d brought 
down ten pheasants at one shot. They were sitting on a fence 
together, near the Northern Pacific shops at Nineteenth Street. 
Two days later a black bear sauntered into the railroad yards, 
but escaped Ford's rifle by flight. Ford and his trusty weapon, 
however, were to come to grief. One day he and a friend, con- 
vinced tliat a flock of wild geese had settled down behind the 
shops, crawled on their stomachs through the mud for some 
distance and shot six of the birds. As the hunters were retrieving 
them Slioe-dealer A. Simon and Tomii ^Marshal Fulmer 
appeared, Simon j^rotesting because his prized birds had ])een 
shot. Ford appeased Simon with the payment of $1.50 the goose, 
official sanction to the transaction being given by the marshal. 

A school election was held in Old Tacoma in November, '83, 
at which D. B. Hannah received two votes, Howard Carr three 
and H. Zelinsky one. Zelinskv was the only man who voted aside 

• a^ ■ 

from members of the election board. 

The lawyers met November 6 to discuss the formation of a bar 
association, those present being: John Arthur, Hooker & Ash- 
ton, George Fuller, Charles N. Senter, Danforth & Bashford, 
John Paul Judson, JNIarcus Bobbins, Sharp & Banks, Campbell 
& Powell, C. D. Young, Allen C. ^Nlason, L. M. Glidden, 
A. Campbell, F. F. Hensell, Sleeker & Wickersham, Freemont 
Campbell, Hon. Elwood Evans. 


The Central Seliool building on blocks 1114 and lllo for 
wliich $1,400 had been paid, was dedicated November 12, 1883. 
The structure was modelled after the Euclid Avenue School 
Building in Cleveland, O. A tower ninety-eight feet high loomed 
above the G Street entrance. The building was of tw^o stories, 
attic and basement, and contained twelve rooms. Its cost was 
$18,000 and H. O. Ball was the builder. The special levy by 
which the money for this building was raised was adopted by a 
vote of 127 to one. The school M'as one of the town's show places 
for 3^ears. It was torn down when the new central school was 
built further north. 

Rev. Mr. Mann, Rev. JNIr. Bonnell, (who then was wasting 
away with quick consumption and who died the following March 
in San Mateo, Cal.,) General Sprague, Superintendent Robb, 
Miss Kane, Captain Burns, who had been a resident of the terri- 
tory for thirty years, Rev. Mr. Armstrong and Doctor Webster 
took part in the dedicatory program. The teachers were Miss 
Visa ]M. Kane, Mrs. C. J. S. Greer, INIiss Sadie Fairfield, INIiss 
Emma Unthank, j\Irs. S. J. S. Davis, !Miss Nannie Wickersham, 
Mrs. Carrie Shaw Rice, Miss Lou Cramer, Miss Anna Church- 
ward. The school opened with 42.5 pupils, and the number ran 
to more than 500 within a short time. The new school building 
was surrounded by stumps and brush, sidewalks were few and 
far between and both children and teachers had to wade the mud 
in all directions. Mrs. Carrie Shaw Rice has w^on many admirers 
with her poetical writings. 

The contract was given to F. W. Lewis to construct the Annie 
Wright Seminary Building. The architects Avere Boone & JNIeeker 
of Seattle. C. B. Wright was furnishing the funds for this 
ambitious enterprise, and he also had promised to endow a Boys' 
Institute with $50,000, if Bishop Paddock would raise $25,000 
with which to erect a building. The bislio]) was making rapid 
headway. Col. Isaac W. Smith was making his report ready for 
Mr. Wright to determine upon a new water system for the town. 
W. D. Tyler liad arrived from Altoona, Pa., having been sent out 
by Mr. Wright to look over the Tacoma Hotel, nearing comple- 
tion. Mr. Tyler recommended the addition of a wing on the 
north for a kitchen and returned east to resign a responsible 


position in the dining station service of the Pennsylvania Raih-oad 
to accept the management of the Tacoma Hotel. 

Not altogether unpleasant was the news that Vice President 
Oakes of the Xorthern Pacific had resolved to make sweeping 
cuts in operating expenses, throwing out of work one half of the 
150 men employed in the Tacoma shops. For, Avhile the 
diminished paja'oll was severely felt in the city, Oakes' vigorous 
action was accepted as the dawn of a new era in the railroad busi- 
ness and a radical change from the extravagances of the Yillard 
regime. It was felt that Oakes was friendly to Tacoma, and 
that his retrenchments all the sooner would bring about that which 
the community most desired — the completion of the Cascade 
division which the Villard group had fought and long postponed. 

Among the steamers calling here were the George E. Starr, 
Hayward, Messenger, Zephyr and Welcome. An event in the 
fall was the death of Lee Fong, the wealthiest Chinaman in the 
town, and a funeral of almost festive elaboration followed in 
which hundreds of Chinese participated and as many whites weie 
interesting spectators. 

Shipping men were pleased by the laying of the telegraph 
cable to Tatoosh Island in the spring of '83. The real estate 
business was not opening with the rush that had been hoped for 
and one of the newsj^aper writers embalmed the lethargy in this 
verse : 

"Move grandly on, thou car of fate. 

Deep-freighted with a rich estate. 

Tacoma's dealers need not fear; 

The land is here — it is all here." 

The county jail, across Market Street from St. Leo's Church 
was completed this spring, and was considered a perfect fortress. 
Its walls were composed of 2 x 12 planks laid flat, and well 
spiked. The old cit}^ jail was a ramshackle affair from which 
prisoners escaped about as regularly as they were incarcerated. 
An attempt was made to check horse-racing on Pacific Avenue. 
Grainger & Williams were building a large brick livery barn at 
Pacific Avenue and Fourteenth Street. This building in after 
years became a notorious variety theater, and it is still in use. 


The active women's organization of the day was the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union — the precursor of the woman's club 
movement. The Legislature had just ]jassed an equal suffrage 
bill, giving the ballot to women. Wm. B. Blackwell, as a member 
of the Legislature, had supported it. The Woman's Christian 
Temperance Union was doing what it could to arouse political 
interest among the women, the special aim of the organization 
being to impel them to take up the fight against liquor and 
gambling. December 3, '83, jNIrs. Abigail S. Duniway, the famous 
Oregon suffragist, who had been camping at Olympia in the 
interests of the suffrage measin-e, came to Tacoma to hold a 
ratification meeting in the Alpha Opera House. A program had 
been announced, embracing the names of several well-known 
men. It was expected that the house would be filled with women. 
Instead the audience was composed mostly of men, and they had 
come to sneer, not to cheer. The speakers who had been 
announced did not appear. A. J. Baker was present and 
responded briefly when called upon. Mayor Abernethy, too, 
attended but he declined to speak. JNIrs. Duniway addressed the 
crowd for some time, paying particular attention to her family 
history and her own difiiculties — a subject upon which she often 
dwelt in those days. She concluded by scoring the women for 
their indifference. 

JMajor W. H. H. Wasson was here to establish for the 
Government bonded warehouses, the increasing oriental business 
of the railroad making this necessary, and to investigate the 
influx of Chinese from British Columbia, forbidden by a law 
which was, however, ineffective for the reason that it did not 
contain a sufficient penalty. Some gaiety was afforded by the 
uniforms with which the railroad was caparisoning its conductors 
and station agents, giving them the aspect of major-generals at 
a reception. 

The first mass convention under the new city charter was held 
December 5. General Sprague had been petitioned by a large 
number of citizens to run for mayor. He replied that he did not 
desire election, but that he would not refuse. The convention 
balloting resulted: Sprague, 231; Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., 190; 
scattering, 2. There was a fight for the city marshalship, and 


]Mar.shal Fulincr was defeated by one vote by Officer Cavanaugh 
who had been a member of the pohce force of three men for 
some time. Byron Barlow, for years prominent in pohtical 
affairs, called the convention to order. Frank Tarbell was njade 
chairman and F. O. ]Meeker, secretary. There was trouble in the 
First Ward meeting. The "Peoples' Committee" had hired the 
liall. The Atkinson-Carr-Fuller party came in strength, assumed 
control, and nominated for the city council Geo. E. Atkinson, 
Howard Carr and John Fuller. The other j^arty bolted, found 
another meeting place and named D. B. Hannah, J. W. Bowers 
and I. F. Beals. In the Second Ward George B. Kandle, George 
O. Kelly and C. A. Richardson were named, and in the Third, 
R. J. Weisbach, J. E. Burns and F. W. Bashford. At the 
election December 10th, a few more than one thousand votes were 
cast for Sprague, and two scattering. The Atkinson-Carr-Fuller 
ticket was elected in the First Ward, which embraced Old 

The women cast 191 ballots, and it could not be determined 
whether ]Mrs. J. E. Burns, or INIrs. John F. DeVore, wife of the 
minister, cast the first woman's ballot in the Territory of Wash- 
ington. Two days before the election a meeting of women had 
been held at the Young Men's Christian Association. ]\Irs. 
David Lister called the meeting to order. INIrs. Barlow was 
elected to j^reside and ]Mrs. Greer was made secretary. The 
gathering then discussed the details of voting, and made plans to 
get the women to the 2:>olls. 

General Sj^rague was then sixty-six years of age. He had 
retired from the superintendency of the Xorthern Pacific Rail- 
road in the preceding January. He was born in Ohio and when 
the Civil war broke out he joined the Seventh Ohio Volunteers 
and became a captain. He Avas captured and lay in Libby prison 
five months. Exchanged he again took up arms, was made 
colonel, then brigadier general and afterward was brevetted 
major general. He came to Tacoma in 1870 as general superin- 
tendent of the railroad, and soon attained a position of promi- 
nence excelled perhaps by no other man in the territory. He was 
of Bismarckian appearance, a delightful man, a good speaker, 
fair and true. 


John X. Fuller, elected to the council, had driven a mule 
team overland in 1869. George O. Kelly had come to Tacoma 
in 1872; George B. Kandle had come to Oregon in 18.51 and to 
Steilacoom in '52. He had served as auditor and had an excel- 
lent record. 

Captain Burns had located at Port Townsend in 18.53. When 
the Indian war broke out he had assisted in raising the first com- 
pany of volunteers, under Colonel Ebey, and liis schooner was 
chartered by the Government as a war vessel. Burns armed his 
vessel, and carried the first company of soldiers to the mouth of 
the Snoqualmie River, then dispatched them by canoes to relieve 
the beleaguered settlers. At the battle of Seattle, Burns' 
schooner, with the United State gunboat Decatur, saved the city 
from capture. Burns attended the trial of Cliief Seattle, on a 
charge of treason, and witnessed his acquittal. For four years 
he served as United States commissioner at Port Townsend, and 
after coming to Tacoma he had taken a prominent part in public 
affairs and had built a water system. 

F. W. Bashford had served through the Civil war and had 
been w^ounded at Antietam. 

Weisbach was of German birth. He joined in the j)opular 
uprising in Germany in 1849, was driven out of the country by 
the imperial troops, and was captured and imprisoned for four 
months in a French fortress. When the Italian patriot Mazzini 
fled through Germany, Weisbach aided him, and was arrested 
and imprisoned for the second time. Upon his release he came 
to the United States and lived twenty years in Kansas where he 
founded the Town of Frankfort and became its first mayor. 

The question of lighting the streets then was important, and 
as the result of considerable discussion which had continued 
thi-ough several years a contract was let to Fassenfield & 
Scliultz to furnish sixteen cedar posts at $8.1;5 each, and upon the 
posts were ])laced oil lamps. Thei'e w^ere some sixty applicants 
for the position of lamp lighter, wliich paid $70 a montli. l^ublic 
expectation was somewhat dimmed by reahzation; tlie lamps 
were neither ornamental nor brilliant. It was alleged that the 
town marshal had to douse his lantern in order to find one of the 
street lamps. In luster they certainly were shaded by the new 

■Vol. 1—19 


omnibuses of the Halstead and Villard houses. Bradley at the 
Halstead had invested more than eight hundred dollars in a vehi- 
cle as glorious as a Cleopatran barge. It was drawn to and from 
the wharf, through the ocean of mud on Pacific Avenue by a 
spanking team. The equipage aroused the envy of JNIottau, of the 
Villard House, and he immediately sent East for a 'bus costing 
$1,100. On its door was a painting of the Villard House, while 
its sides gleamed with mountain scenery. INIottau also invested in 
a large sleigh, ornately painted. This vehicle is still in service 
w^hen the snow permits. It appeared on the streets last winter. 

The Young INIen's Christian Association opened a reading 
room on Pacific Avenue, opposite Twelfth Street, in December, 
1883, with Isaac Durboraw in charge, and began in a more active 
way to forward its work. 

The last of 1,600 stumps had been removed from Tacoma 
Avenue. Rev. iNIr. DeVore had just completed a row of cottages 
in block 1.507. D and E streets were being partially graded. 
The little city was crawling slowly up the hillside. 

Late in 1883 a serious epidemic of diphtheria almost closed 
the schools and greatly alarmed the community. It is not known 
liow man}^ cases there were, nor can it be learned how many died 
from the scourge. 

December 16th, at 11 :46, because of a change in time standard, 
all watches and clocks were set forward eleven minutes. A Port- 
land gambler dropped into one of the faro games and "broke the 
bank" to the tune of $500. As an indication of the prices of real 
estate, the Tacoma Land Company sold to David Lister lots 11 
and 12, block 1403, for $400; lots 13, 14 and 1.5, block 1.509, to 
W. Wagner for $600; lots 20, 21 and 22, block 1310, to Donald 
McDonald, for $4.50. George O. Kelly and J. P. Stewart were 
appointed to view and locate a road between Tacoma and Puyal- 
lup, long regarded as a great need. 

The recapitulation for '83 showed 1114 real estate transfers 
with a valuation of $1,392,000: twenty-eight new additions had 
heen put on the market. The Northern Pacific shops had built 
249 cars; the total bank deposits were $4,129,866.14. The Cam- 
berlain. Bauerle & Rice furniture plant liad a payroll of $32,000 
a year; Page's shingle mill, $12,000; Paulson & Anderson planing 


mill was employing twenty-five men. All of these plants were 
at the head of the bay. The Lister, Houghton & Co. plant was 
employing eighty men; the Talok ^lanufacturing Company, 
owned by John Carson and C. INI. Johnson, on what is now Center 
Street — then in the woods, fifty men; Hanson & Co., Old Ta- 
coma, 200 men. The hotel registers showed 20,562 arrivals, 
Blackwell's leading with 8,824; Halstead, 7,636; Villard, 4,102. 
There were nineteen doctors and thirty lawyers; eleven dry- 
goods houses; nineteen grocery stores; fifteen notion, fruit and 
stationery stores; six hardware; four millinery; one agricultural 
implements; fom- drug stores; four bakeries; four furniture 
stores; four boot and shoe stores; four meat markets; four tailors; 
four blacksmiths; five jewelers; two livery stables; five barber 
shops; eighteen saloons; eleven hotels; twelve restaurants; three 
wholesale liquor houses; six laundries; two printing houses; one 
undertaker ; two fish markets ; three paint and oil establishments. 

At this time there were about four thousand persons in Ta- 
coma. Ten years had passed since the first settlements- had been 
made on the new townsite. A neat little city had supplanted the 
heavy woods. Commendable efforts at beautification were 
noticeable. Cleanliness was being enforced. Schools of excep- 
tional importance had been added. The church life of the little 
city had received a new impetus. 

J. M. Junett was sitting in a barber shop one day, waiting his 
turn, and reading a newspaper. His eye fell upon an item which 
said that J. H. Houghton was about to buy a tract of land as a 
timber claim. Junett knew the land and he at once concluded 
tliat if Houghton could buy it as a timber claim he, Junett, could 
homestead it, and he acted at once. He built a cabin, took his 
family out, and perhaps there was not a tract in the Northwest 
that was more carefully guarded. Until the letter of the law 
had been complied with in every particidar some member of his 
family always was on the land, nicrht and day. It never was left 
alone for a minute. It became Junett's addition to Tacoma, and 
he sold the first acre of it to George Dyer for $800. 









The Weekly News became a daily September 25, '83, under 
the editorship of IT. C. Patrick, and a very creditable little paper 
of four pages it was, zealous in its optimistic support of the 
communitv and well filled with news. One of the larger adver- 
tisements of that issue announced the coming of the noted 
comedian, George Holland, as Lord Dundreary in "Our Ameri- 
can Cousin." Several new stores were opening. The Tacoma 
Trading Company was organized August 21, ^^ith Byron Bar- 
low, president, E. Sikes, vice president, and Calvin S. Barlow 
as secretary and treasurer. Calvin Barlow is now the head of the 
firm, and through the years he has set a meritorious example as a 
loyal, kindly citizen and sound business man. The banks were: 
The Bank of Xew Tacoma, which had been established in 1880, 
and the officers were A. J. Baker, president. George F. Orchard, 
vice president, Walter J. Thompson, cashier, just then from 
Nebraska, and N. B. C off man, assistant cashier, and its capital 
was $100,000; Tacoma National, with Gen. J. W. Sprague, 
president, W. Eraser, cashier, Robert Wingate, W. B. Black- 
well, George E. Atkinson and R. J. Weisbach, directors. Its 
capital was $50,000. 

Porterhouse steak was selling at 20 cents a pound; sirloin, 



18; iiiuttoii chops at 121/0 and 15; eggs, 45 and 50; potatoes, one- 
half peck for 15 cents; cabbage, 5 to 40 cents a head; butter, 50; 
muskmelons, 30 to 50 cents each. In that day it was the custom 
to buy in quantity. Householders bought "Golden C" sugar by 
the barrel, cube sugar by the half barrel; flour by the barrel. 
Hams came in great cases from New York, wrapped thickly in 
heavy i:)aper, and with a half inch of mold over them. They sold 
at 25 cents a pound. 

A salmon cannery was opened at Old Tacoma in September, 
'83. It was built by James Williams. He paid the fisherman 
four cents a fish. The capacity of the plant was 5,200 fish daily. 
It had a tinshop in which 20,000 cans were made daily. P. D. 
Forbes, Isaac Anderson and others were building a race track 
just east of where the Tacoma Cemetery now is and the council 
was partly grading Yakima Avenue from South Sixth to South 
Twenty-first Street. 

There was one dray in town — ]Mike jNIurphy's,- and it had the 
reputation of splashing the liquid streets over every newcomer. 
The Central Hotel was the southern business boundary. Work- 
men going to the Northern Pacific shops at Seventeenth Street 
carried shot guns and killed game birds and an occasional deer 
on the way. C Street Avas filled with stumps and was almost 
uninhabited. E Street was the western boundary of the resi- 
dence district. Ninth and Eleventli Streets were all but im- 
passable. Where the Olds Block stands were two small cottages 
occupied by J. H. Houghton and Fred Sahm. There were two 
brick buildings — the Ledger's on C Street and Wright's at Nintli 
and Pacific. 

In September, the foundations were laid for the new passen- 
ger station, on the lower side of the tracks just below Seven- 
teenth Street. In derision it was called the "Villard Depot." 
The land comjoany had set aside the whole block from Ninth to 
Eleventh streets, between Commerce Street and Broadway for 
station purposes and there was hope tliat a great station would 
be built there. The erection of the little "Yillard Depot" was a 
keen disappointment. 

The Olds Building, the first in the town to liavc iron columns, 
girders and doorplates, was being erected. The iron work came 


from the Lister, Houghton & Co. foundry. Frank S. Ailing, 
for many years a devotee of horticulture, picked a half bushel 
of peaches from the trees on his Wajoato farm, and proclaimed 
that this climate was most gracious to that fruit — a gospel which 
E. R. Roberts has been preaching for a quarter of a century. 
Eleventh Street had been graded and "now presents an easy 
grade over the first grand city terrace." 

Tacoma Avenue was being graded over many protests, it being- 
averred that the officials were about to ruin it for residence 
purposes "as they had ruined C Street." There was an appeal 
to leave Tacoma Avenue in its natural state as nearly as possible, 
and a protest against opening it to its full width. The deep cuts 
left the cottages high on the mud banks, and ruined favorite trails 
across lots to the business district. There was criticism of those 
in authority because the plank sewer in Pacific Avenue had 
collapsed, and it was discovered that it had been built without a 

The erection of a city hall — a subject that was perennial — 
again was under discussion by the council which then held its 
sessions in the Mann Block. Fawcett Bros.' imj^lement store 
was opened in the Ouimette & Little John Building. Doctor Ver- 
coe and Doctor Orchard occupied the second floor. The munici- 
pal receipts for September were $17,609.03; disbursements, 
$17,418.91. The income from liquor licenses for that month was 
$750. IMuch street work was in jDrogress. The real estate trans- 
fers for the month numbered 69, and amounted to $88,749. 
Money w^as plentiful and business good. October 4 D. B. Han- 
nah asked for the first street car franchise, and the council 
appointed Messrs. Anderson and Burns as a committee to discuss 
with the Old Tacoma Council the details in consolidating the two 
towns. Old Tacoma then was known as Tacoma City. 

The first through freight from St. Paul to Tacoma, coming 
by way of Kalama reached this city October 1, 1883, consisting 
of nineteen carloads of freight. Steir & Slaugliter leased the 
Alpha Opera House to put in a roller skating rink, and this 
amusement place became very popular. 

The Tacoma Club had opened handsome rooms and was 
flourishing. Its officers were: president, George Fuller; vice 


president, John Arthur; secretary, A. T. Patrick; treasurer, 
S. C. Slaughter; hoard of governors, John H. Hall, H. de 
Raasloff, B. Stanley Banks and Irving J. Benjamin. 

Hoska k Little John opened an undertaking estahlishment, 
using A. JNIc^Iillan's barn, which stood on the south end of the 
present postoffice site. The McMillans kept a popular boarding 
house, facing Eleventh Street. Mttlejohn was not an inider- 
taker by trade and never liked the business, but he remained in 
it for several years. In 1886 he organized Oakwood Cemetery 
and sold a great many lots. 

In 1883 Calvin S. Barlow and Levi Shelton made the first 
accurate assessment for taxation. Before that time there had 
been a hit-and-miss process by which many escaped. In this year 
also Wm. N. Spinning and Frank H. Gloyd wrote up the first 
abstract books of Pierce County. 

General Sprague and Doctor Bostwick had the only two 
graded yards in the town. All the others were rough, stumpy and 
generally covered with ferns and weeds. 

Among the business firms whose announcements appeared in 
the advertising columns of the papers were : Lodde & Kruse, dry 
goods; T. B. Wallace, real estate; the Saddlerock Restaurant, 
owned by Harris & Son; C. E. Case, JNI. D.; Wolfe Bios'. New 
York Bakery; John Forbes and A. E. Naubert, clothing; George 
Fuller, attorney; Smart & Dougherty, meats; B. Johnson, 
groceries; JNIrs. T. A. Wilson, milliner; Volkman & Miller, com- 
mission merchants; Davis & Co. and Frank Kimball, jewelers; 
W. D. Lammond, horseshoer; Clendenin & INIiller, dry goods and 
clothing; Abernethy & Co., real estate; Rowley & Lovell, furni- 
ture; A. T. Patrick, stationer; Charles H. Pio, boots and shoes; 
McKay k INIurray, grocers ; Howell, Xixon & Steele, real estate ; 
D. G. Frerichs, tailor; Lobe, Eger & Company's Golden Rule 
Bazaar; The White House Dry Good Store, owned by Seaman 
& Young; R. H. Wilkinson & Co., stationery, pianos and organs; 
Stevens & Tiedman, meat dealers on Tacoma Avenue at Ninth. 
This concern advertised its scenic attractions as well as its steaks. 

The steamer Messenger was iimning three days a week to 
Seattle and on alternate days to Olvmpia. Dr. J. A. Williams 
advertised his dental work, J. Stratman was the town's news 


dealer, and J. P. Chilberg, hardware merchant. He sold out in 
this year to B. McCready, who figured in a large way in the 
town's affairs for many years. 

In the fall of this year, ('83), Bailey Willis, famous geolo- 
gist, with a force of about seventy-five men, had completed for 
the Northern Pacific Railroad Company a trail six feet wide from 
Wilkeson to the snow line on JNIount Tacoma. The distance was 
thirty miles. Bridges were thro^vn across streams and comforta- 
ble camping places arranged for the horde of tourists which con- 
fidently was expected to take advantage of the wonderful trip the 
following year. The railroad company was prospecting for coal 
and minerals, but it was said to be its intention to build a "grand 
hotel" on Mount Tacoma — a dream not yet realized though 
certainly not now far distant. 

September 30 the Typograpliical Union was organized with 
S. H. Heren president. Those at the meeting were David A. 
^laulsby, S. H. Condon, W. A. Berry, Frank Baldauf, Marshall 
Fell, Jr., Oliver Waller, George G. Ashbaugh, Hugh Glenn, 
M. D. INIcCaslin, E. L. Gruener, George Anderson, E. M. 
Beach, T. D. Powell, S. H. Heren and F. W. Beach. 

September also witnessed the opening of the second St. Leo's 
Catholic Church, and Father Hylebos left soon for a visit to 
Rome saying he expected to tell Pope Leo that he had dedicated 
his church to the Pope's favorite saint. The first St. Leo's 
Church, 24 x 40 feet, stood at Division and Tacoma avenues, 
about where the old T. B. Wallace home now^ is. The first mass 
was said in this little church January 1, 1880, and at this time 
Old Tacoma had a population of 220 and New Tacoma .500. 
Eighteen w^orshipers attended the first mass. The building had 
just been completed when Father Hylebos arrived. He had been 
at the Cowlitz Mission since 1870, and had made frequent trips 
to Tacoma and the Puyallup Indian Reservation. He came to 
the mission directly from the University of Louvain, Belgium. 
Father Hylebos is not sure of his own name. Whether it is 
Peter Francis or Francis Peter he is not certain. He was one of 
twins, and somewhere in the babyhood of the boys their parents 
became confvised, and utterly lost the key by which they identified 
one babe as Peter Francis and the other as Francis Peter. Father 


Hylebos seized upon Peter Francis as his name. His twin brother 
died years ago. 

The second St. Leo's, 46 x 120 feet in ground dimensions, 
was built at a cost of $4,600 at South Ninth and D streets where 
the Pubhc JNIarket now stands, and it gave to the community its 
first church bell. This bell was used as a fire alarm, as well as 
for its message of peace. The police had a key to the church. 
The bell was provided with a special clapper with its own rope, 
for fire purposes. This church was to meet Catholic needs until 
the present St. Leo's, 120 feet square, was completed August 
31, 1903. 

In the rear of the church stood an immense granite boulder. 
Father Hylebos failed to find a contractor willing to undertake 
its removal. This stone had figin-ed in small-pox days. It was 
not far from the pest house, and upon it were placed the orders 
for supplies. The grocers and others made their deliveries to the 
boulder. It also figin^ed as a "land-owner." For some reason the 
Land Company had not desired to sell the lot on w^hich the boulder 
stood, though many prospective buyers inquired after it. In 
order to satisfy inquirers the clerks entered on the books the 
legend: "Sold to Mr. Stone." In 1884 Jacob Cam, of Portland, 
bought the boulder of Father Hylebos and set men at work to 
cut it up. They worked for many days. The boulder contained 
1,000 feet of good stone, requiring four cars in shipment to Port- 
land. Besides this, 15,000 poimds of dimension rock were pro- 

The first St. Leo's Church was bought by John Paul Judson, 
wlio began the removal of it to lots he owned on Q Street. While 
on the way it was blown down by a storm. 

In 1883 the valuation for taxation purposes in Pierce County 
was $2,943,906, an increase of about 50 per cent compared with 
'82, and a tax of $53,904.10 was levied. Those who paid more 
than $100 in taxes, and the amounts they paid were : O. ]M. Annis, 
$156.76; Isaac W. Anderson, $161.60; Mrs. S. L. Acker- 
son, $153.97; J. C. Ainsworth, $135.37; H. C. Bostwick, 
$142.80; Bostwick & Davis, $107.70; A. J. Baker, $118.25; 
W. Boatman, $241.17; W. B. Blackwell, $157.30; A. P. Carr, 
$133.08; I. and M. Cogswell, $319.60: Estate Frank Clark, 


$276.87; Carbon Hill Coal Company, $1,016.26; John Carson, 
$453.40; Samuel Coulter, $156.58; J. R. Dickinson, $170; 
C. P. Ferry, $246.50; W. H. Fife, $345.19; H. A. Fife, $217.72; 
Gross Bros., $302.10; J. D. Gillham, $124.30; Hirschlield & 
Coleman, $106; J. H. Houghton, $115.40; Estate J. Halstead, 
$114.75; C. Halmold, $163.88; Theo. Hosmer, $239.45; M. F. 
Hatch & Co., $187.85; Charles Hanson, $1,809.14; Peter 
Irving, $145.49; George O. Kelly, $100.62; John Kincaid, 
$152.29; Lister, Houghton & Co., $191.42; Henry JNIurray, 
$268.52; J. C. Mann, $167.45; John & I. G. Murray, $118.86; 
E. C. Meade, $175.99; E. Meeker, $259.04; E. Meeker & Co., 
$784.10; A. McMillan, $125.04; Mrs. J. McCarver, $274.04; 
S. M. Nolan, $282.68; R. Nix, $250,86; Northern Pacific Rail- 
road Company, $5,593; Osborn & Ziemick, $143.14; O. R. & 
N. Co., $1,255.03; Van Ogle, $197.30; G. F. Orchard, $272.48; 
Pincus & Packscher, $205.56; Eben Pierce, $114.79; Puget 
]Mill Company, $242.93; James Rigney, $114.67; D. M. Ross, 
$139.74; R. F. Radebaugh, $239.02; S. G. Reed, $281.94 
Otis SpragLie, $121.09; C. H. Spinning, $130.53; John Saltar 
$154.05; Schafer & Howard, $127-02; Stewart & Gibbs, $149.87 
J. P. Stewart, $156.64; South Prairie Coal Company, $184.62 
E. S. (Skookum) Smith, $451.78; J. W. Sprague, $742.23 
Wm. Thompson, $102.71; L. F. Thompson, $276.87; Sam'l Wil- 
keson, Jr., $198.25; W. Wagner & Co., 146.88; Robert Wingate, 
$370.48; W. H. Whitsell, $104.88; J. G. Williams, $119 Tacoma 
Land Company, $3,060. 

The steamer Dakota was succeeded by the Oregon in 1883 — 
an important fact to shipping circles. Van Ogle, his bride and 
her daughters by a preceding marriage, were building the "Van 
Ogle ^lansion" at Sixth and E Streets out of the proceeds of an 
enormous hop crop for which Ogle had received some $40,000. 
^Irs. Ogle entertained on a lavish scale, but the old Indian 
fighter usually sat by the kitchen stove in his carpet slippers while 
the festivities proceeded in the wide parlors. He is yet living, at 

The city charter was being revised by Mayor Abernethy, 
Elwood Evans and General Sprague, preparatory to union with 
Old Town and several meetings were held, the first one October 



10 ill Old Tiicoma, JNIessrs. Hannah, Job and Howard Carr, 
Howes, Harris and Kanfman representing Old Tacoma, and 
Messrs. Abernethy, Anderson, Wingate, Spragne, Ouiniette, 
Bnrns, Evans and Richardson representing New Tacoma. Old 
Tacoma was willing, but attempted for a time to exact certain 
privileges in taxation. 

There was some discussion looking toward property quali- 
fication for voters, as the community then was beginning to feel 
the effects of the transient voter, and it has been felt since that 
time on more than one occasion. Several bond issues not al- 
together needed, and in some cases disastrous, contrived by poli- 
ticians, have been voted which would not liave been made had the 
tax-payers been numerically strong enough to prevent. The 
charter makers did not include a property qualification in their 
charter draft, and dropped it after some debate. It was decided 
to establish three wards, with three councilmen from each ward. 

Walter J. Thompson, the banker, had just arrived in Tacoma 
from Nebraska, having returned to complete the details of his 
removal westward, and had sent N. B. CofFman, now a leader in 
Chehalis and southw^estern Washington affairs, on ahead witli 
instructions to buy the best corner in Tacoma. He selected the 
southwest corner of Pacific Avenue and Eleventh Street and 
paid Pincus & Packscher $12,000 for it. This firm had paid $800 
for the property about eighteen months before, and had built a 
two-story frame store there. 

Thompson immediately began to give expression to a public 
spiritedness rarely seen. Student of art and politics, sociologist, 
much interested in farming, omniverous reader, with a broad 
sympathy for labor and active in educational work, he threw 
himself into city building with fervor, and liis force was felt, and 
still is felt, along the lines of community betterment. His bank- 
ing plans were doomed to disaster, his fortune was to be swal- 
lowed in the grim liolocaust of '93, and he was to wrestle with 
adversitv almost at its worst. For some ten vears, however, he 
was at the forefront of community endeavor, generously aiding 
with his purse and his active presence whatever seemed good for 
the community. He entertained many prominent men, and his 
home was a gatliering place for the intellectuals. 


There was no building then between the Pincus corner and the 
Lister foundry at Seventeenth Street. Pincus & Packscher 
were doing an enormous business in hops, though Ezra Meeker 
was at that time the largest operator on the coast. Meeker made 
and lost a lialf dozen fortunes. Pincus & Packscher in '83 built 
the Xational Theater, the building now occupied by the National 
Rubber Company, on A Street, investing about fifty thousand 
dollars. Attorney Frank Clark had his office where the Mil- 
waukee ticket office now is, at Tenth and Pacific avenues, and 
George Kandle was employed in his office. Clark's residence was 
at A and Tenth streets, where he ow^ned six lots. Clark's son, 
Frank King Clark, fell heir to his father's office corner, and a 
few years ago he sold it to R. E. Anderson for $125,000. A 
higher price — $190,000 — was paid to Rudolph Knabel for the lot 
south of the Xational Realty Building, and a still greater price 
— $4,000 a foot — was paid for the Peoples Store corner by David 
Scott. Frank Clark, Jr., became a noted singer, attaining more 
than national fame as a vocal teacher. He died in Europe a few 
months ago. It was said his death was due, in part at least, to 
the fear of losing his fortune, much of which he had invested in 
Austrian bonds, the values of which were affected by the out- 
break of the European war. 

Frank Clark, Sr., was about five feet eleven inches in height, 
and weighed about two hundred pounds. He dressed well, and 
was distinguished in aj^pearance. He had brown hair and blue 
eyes, a small brown mustache. He was round-faced and smiling, 
a first-rate speaker, with a voice that carried well. He main- 
tained handsome and exceptionally orderly offices. He had a 
very prosperous law practice, and was sought far and wide in 
criminal cases. One of the secrets of his success was his singular 
abilitv in creating sentiment in favor of his client. In serious 
cases he pursued the usual practice of delaying trial as long as 
possible. Meantime he talked here, there and wherever he could 
find a good listener, of the good side of his client, of the com- 
mendable elements in his case, etc., and by the time the trial was 
called he often had opinion so strongly in his favor that conviction 
was very difficult. Clark died suddenly on a train while going to 
Tenino, Januaiy 8, 1883, on business. 










It was good news to the town when the Tillie E. ^tarbiick 
readied the Columbia River carrying the ferryboat which was 
to transport Northern Pacific trains between Portland and 
Kalama, and it was announced that the vessel would be ready in 
six months. The ferry was shipped in 57,ol5 pieces, packed in 
579 boxes. Her length was to be 320 feet ; breadth over guards. 
73V> feet; depth 13l/) feet; she had two horizontal engines, 36 
inches in diameter and with a 9-foot stroke; her wheels were 27 
feet in diameter, with 8 feet face; she had three tracks and a 
capacity of 27 cars, and she was the second largest ferry boat in 
the United States. The Tillie E. Starbuck was the first iron 
full-rigged sliip, liuilt in America. Besides the ferryboat she 
brought twenty-two locomotives. The Starbuck was 270 feet 
in length, with a 42-foot beam. 

The ferry was first called the Kalama. Afterward she 
was named Tacoma, which drew upon C. B. Wright's head a 
bitter attack from Seattle papers, he being charged with gross 
favoritism. It developed, however, that this was not one of the 
crimes that could be laid at his door. President Harris con- 



lessed. He said that the name Kalama not only was ugly, 
but that it was continually being mispronounced and he had 
ordered the painters to blot it out and substitute the name 

There were much better signs of an enlivenment in railroad 
work. For on Jan. 4, 1884, Villard retired from the Northern 
Pacific presidency, and it appeared certain that Charles B. 
Wright, the largest individual holder of N. P. securities, 
Tacoma's good godfather, would return to the board. He was 
offered the presidency but refused, and Thos. F. Oakes was 
elected. Villard, in his letter of resignation, said he was threat- 
ened with nervous prostration. It was reported that his entire 
fortune was gone and that he was utterly ruined. Portland and 
Seattle men groaned at this report. It was said that Villard 
had consumed about $2,000,000 of Portland money and he had 
jDcrsuaded many, many thousands out of Seattle pockets. Work 
had stopped some time before on the road from Sumner to 
Seattle, and Seattle was grief-stricken. Portland was angry 
and chagrined at the reopened prospect of the construction of 
the line across the Cascades, after she had paid so dearly for 
Villard securities in the hope that all traffic might be continued 
forever down the Columbia River, at outrageous freight rates. 

Conditions in Tacoma at this time were not satisfactory. 
The Villard blight had so crippled the railroad that the new 
management found it necessary to resort to the most rigid econ- 
omy, M'ith the result that the Tacoma shops of the company were 
practically closed. The city council decided on a policy of public 
improvements in order to give work to the unemployed. The 
new city charter had become effective January 7. with S. C. 
Howes, as city clerk, Louis D. Campbell, city attorney, C. O. 
Bean, city surveyor, and Doctor Vercoe. as healtli officer. Doctor 
Vercoe, however, was not long to remain as he soon Avent to the 
new town of Kent, which at that time also was known as Titus- 
ville and Yesler, where he opened the first drug store. 

The council's first step was to order the building of a one- 
story structure at Ninth Street, between Commerce and Broad- 
way, to be used as a city prison and hook and ladder station. 
Later it was decided to build a three-story citv hall, but this raised 


a storm. The town debt was growing rapidly and many improve- 
ments were more necessary than a city hall. Several hundred 
dollars were spent on the adventure, however. The next step 
was to order the construction of a turnj)ike roadway on Tacoma 
Avenue between Twenty-first Street and Old Tacoma. This 
road long had been a morass in winter and a terrible dust hole 
in summer, for it was heavily used. 

An incident in the change of government by which the two 
towns were united was the last meeting of the old Tacoma council, 
January 3, 1884. It generously voted $12 each to Job Carr and 
Judge Howes and $8 each to several others for their services on 
election day, and then, finding $2o0 still left in the treasury with 
no provision in the new charter for turning the money over to 
the new government, voted to charter a steamer, go to Seattle, 
have dinner at the Brunswick and afterward attend the Bijou 
Theater. Later, however, the outgoing officials concluded that 
$250 w^orth of fire hose would be a more enduring monument to 
their wisdom, and it accordingly was bought. 

Letter postage was reduced in the beginning of 1884 from 
3 to 2 cents and there was much speculation as to how much 
the change w^ould increase or decrease the postal revenues, and 
how it would affect the Tacoma office. 

3It. Tacoma Lodge, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, 
w^as established January 3, 1884, with J. B. Reed, master; Ed. 
Huggins, Jr., secretary; J. ]M. Hughes, financier. 

The church reports at the opening of the new year showed 
that the Congregationalists, who had completed a church in 1883, 
had thirty-seven members. Frederick Billings, of Xew York, 
a former president of the Xorthern Pacific Railway, contributed 
$1,000 to it. Their first services in Tacoma were held August 16. 
1873. Tlie organizers of the First Congregational Church of 
New Tacoma were S. S. Wliite. Uis. Ploulda White, W. B. 
Stillwell, ^Irs. Julian Lewis and B. E. Craig. For several years 
they held services in the First INIethodist Cliurch. The ^Metli- 
odists had 110; Presbyterians, 8.5; and the Baptists, 20. The 
Baptists at this time were completing a church at Ninth and D 
streets, at a cost of $2,847. It was painted green and it was 


dedicated March 16, 1884, by Kev. J. C. Baker and Rev. Mr. 
Beavan, the pastor. 

The Tacoma Boating Club was formed January 30, with 
Newman Khne, chairman, and Fred Loomis, secretary. John 
S. Baker, now president of the Fidelity Trust Company, was 
doing a thriving business in his grocery store just south of Ninth 
Street on the west side of Pacific Avenue. C. B. Weller had 
opened a hotel away out at Jefferson Avenue and Twenty-first 
Street, and was prosperous in spite of the prophets. W. G. 
Rowland and James W, Purdy were opening a wholesale and 
retail grocery store, and Druggist St. John was exhibiting the 
first electric sign, but there was as yet no current to make it 
twinkle. An electric company, of which A. S. Abernethy was 
secretary and agent, proposed to build an electric plant, and 
placed before the council a proposal to light the streets, using 
1. 50-foot masts, with 3,000-candle power lamps on each. But 
the council was not yet ready. It had not yet learned to revile 
the oil lamps which had been lighted for the first time that month.. 

John L. Sullivan headed an aggregation of bruisers that gave 
an exhibition in the Alpha Opera House February 5. Herbert 
A. Slade, "the great Maori giant;" Steve Taylor, ex-champion 
heavyweight of the United States; Pete JMcCoy, champion light- 
weight of America; Mike Gillespie, "Boston's favorite sparrer;" 
Frank ]Moran, master of ceremonies; J. Muntzinger and other 
celebrities — thus the bill ran, and the house would not hold the 
crowd. A day or so later, when the pugilists were returning 
from Seattle and other northern places, they fell into a violent 
quarrel on tlie boat, which continued in the Blackwell Hotel, 
though John L. himself w^as too tipsy to participate. 

January 17, 1884, Henry^Ward Beecher, lecturing in Brook- 
lyn on a western trip he had just concluded, said: 

"If I were young I'd settle in Washington territory. It is 
going to be the Italy of America." 

This declaration was widely printed and had a considerable 
effect on travel to the northwest. It was an echo of Horace 
Greely's famous injunction. Among those who sat in Beecher's 
audience that evening was George W. Plummer who, after the 
lecture, went forward and asked the preacher, whom he had met 


before, for further information. Beecher enthusiastically added 
much to what he had said from his pulpit, with the result that Mr. 
Plummer immediately sent his son, Fred, to Tacoma. Fred then 
was nineteen, and he immediately began a notable career, in the 
course of which he taught in Washington College, wrote much 
of interest to scientific men, prepared a guide to Mt. Tacoma, 
served as engineer on various water and other projects, and finally 
became chief geographer in the United States Forest Service 
where he served with distinction, until his sudden and untimely 
death August 18, 1913. Henry G. Plummer came in 1887 and 
he now is the engineer in charge of the dredging of Pearl Harbor, 
Honolulu. George H., now land commissioner for the Northern 
Pacific Railroad, came in 1889, and the remainder of the family 
came a few months later. Plummer, Sr., died in 1902, but Mrs. 
Plummer still is living at the age of seventy-five. Sidney, an- 
other son, is a real estate dealer. 

A second attempt to put a Board of Trade on its feet caused 
much criticism. In January a call, more or less secret, was issued. 
It was signed by Dr. H. C. Bostwick, J. W. Sprague, R. J. 
Weisbach, E. N. Ouimette, and others, w^ho proposed a "close 
corporation" w^ith a high membership fee. The aim was to unite 
the leading business men and raise a fund large enough to work 
with. The alleged lack of democracy in the plan subjected it 
to ridicule and hatred, but that did not diminish the fervor of 
its creators. In a few days they had signed up J. P. Chilberg, 
S. F. Sahm, S. M. Nolan, F. Tarbell, A. J. Baker, Walter J. 
Thompson, W. J. Fife, Aug. F. Plate, J. T. Baltzell, W. B. 
Blackwell, Byron Barlow, Robert Wingate, I. J. Benjamin, 
Elw^ood Evans, J. H. Hall, R. F. Radebaugh, W. J. Bonney, 
John S. Baker, S. M. Nolan, Sam'l Wilkeson, B. Macready, 
J. M. Buckley, W. H. Fife, J. S. Howell, G. F. Orchard, John 
Arthur. N. B. Coffman, C. S. Bai-low, G. W. Byrd, Isaac Ander- 
son, M. M. Harvey, D. B. Hannah, C. O. Bean, C. Muhlenbruch, 
H. Mahncke, F. Carmichael, T). T). Clarke. A. B. Graham, W. 
Fesenford, W. B. Kelly, W. IT. Harris. J. H. Houghton, David 
Lister, J. IT. Wilt, Allen C. Mason, E. PI. Feiling, L. E. Samp- 
son, Alex. Parker, C. A. Cook, Wm. R. H. Wilkinson, H. C. 
Davis, INT. J. Cogswell, Jolm Holgate, Wm. Bradley, T. B. Wal- 

Vol. 1—20 


lace, W. J. Gordon, Henry Winsor, Albert Whyte, H. H. Holt, 
Kobert Mottau, W. G. Rowland, I. Pincus, Matt McCoy, F. T. 
Olds and others. In a short time eighty-three members had 
been procm*ed. Walter J. Thompson presided at the first meet- 
ing. It was decided to call the organization the Tacoma Cham- 
ber of Commerce, and the entrance fee was placed at $100. 
J. W. Sprague was elected president, and Stuart Rice, secretary, 
and the Chamber at once began a line of w'ork that carried its 
fame far and wide, and gave it such a prominence at home that 
men always were waiting to join it at even higher fees than its 
constitution demanded. 

Immediately steps w^ere taken for the erection of a building 
on two lots bought on the southeast corner of Pacific Avenue 
and Twelfth Street for $8,000, and Architects William Farrell 
and C. S. Darmer drew the plans, the cost to be about 
twenty thousand dollars. C. P. JNIasterson arranged a $10,000 
loan, and, after the membership had increased to 150, building 
was begun, H. O. Geiger being the contractor. Rigid economy 
and gifts of materials from some of the members of the chamber 
enabled it to construct this building for $16,000. Perhaps no 
building in Tacoma before or since was erected at so low a figure. 
The structure still is in use as a business block. 

An attempt was made to interest the organization in an oil 
and gas excitement in the Puyallup Valley. A well had been 
bored for water on Cutler Salmon's farm, and at a depth of 
1,2.50 feet water at a temperature of 80° was struck, and inter- 
mingled with the water was a considerable quantity of gas which 
w-as piped to the Salmon house, affording heat and light. The 
oil and gas excitement had the town by the ears all through the 
summer of 1885. Elhi long had been under the eye of oil men. 
Steilacoon w^as claiming a favorable prospect, and when work- 
men thought they detected the odor of petroleum in a well they 
were completing for John Hess at South Eleventh and K streets, 
Tacoma became more interested. When the drill was ready to 
begin operations on Von Bibber's farm, up the valley, the Tacoma 
Oil Company invited the people for miles around to attend the 
ceremonies. Governor Squire and Mayor Weisbach made 
speeches. A few days later Ezra INIeeker and others organized 


The New Standard Oil Company, and Mayor Weisbach headed 
the iVlutual Oil Company. Oil stock was bought freely. Every- 
body was confident of riches. There seems to be nothing like an 
oil excitement to separate fools and their money. In a few 
months the various enterprises were given up. In 1914-15 the 
Tenino oil excitement took from Tacoma pockets about two hun- 
dred thousand dollars, much of which was pocketed by crafty 
promoters who never had even an idea of investing in lands and 
drilling machinery. 

J. E. Burns again was in a state of rebellion. It will be 
remembered that he had been elected president of the first board 
of trade, which never again met. He now was a member of 
the council and at one of the first meetings he introduced a resolu- 
tion denouncing JNIayor Sprague and accusing him of "willful 
discourtesy" in not appointing Burns on a certain committee, 
which brought the retort from INIayor Sprague that Burns was 
not fit to serve on the committee. Burns, in the squabble that 
followed, denounced Sprague as the "autocrat of Tacoma," and 
one member utterly annihilated another bv accusino; him of 
having a tape worm. 

Burns was one of the fathers of the fight on the Xorthern 
Pacific Railroad, and at this time he was complaining early and 
often because the railroad, which had bought the land, laid out 
the townsite, and made the city possible — also had bought the 
waterfront, and he was not mollified when it was announced 
in the spring of 1884 that the land company and the railroad 
were contemplating the construction of wharves to cover almost 
every foot of the distance from the Blackwell Hotel to the head 
of the bay, while just across the waterway, at the head of the 
Northern Pacific fill, it was proposed to build eight mammoth 
slips, 400 feet in length. And the work on the wharves, under 
the direction of Isaac W. Anderson, soon was under way. 

Various interests long had coveted the tideflats, the importance 
of which had grown with the years. It is believed to have been 
the dream of Olmstead, when he drew his famous plan for this 
townsite, to utilize the tideflats eventually as the business district. 
Many another has had the same vision. From the very beginning 
the future gi-eat value of these submerged lands had appealed, 


and the fight for possession of them had been bitter. Isaac 
Anderson Avas the head of the land company, and C. B. Wright 
had given him instructions to get hold of the tideflats at any 
cost. Wright, like McCarver, who always was talking about 
"The Boot," and every other man who ever gave the situation 
deep consideration, realized the great value of the lowlands, and 
Anderson set his plans to get hold of the property. While he 
was about this an inimical syndicate was organized to procure it. 
This syndicate was formed of John E. Burns, Philip Metzler, 
John P. Judson, S. M. Xolan, John F. Hart and William H. 
Veazie. The land companj^ claimed the flats nearest the city. 
J. B. iMontgomery had procured title from the Government 
to the flats further east. In the spring of 1887 J. M. Steele, 
the real estate man, slipped over to the Montgomery claim early 
one morning, planted a lot of oysters and immediately filed claim 
upon the flats as oyster lands. The members of the Burns syn- 
dicate tried the same expedient. In the end it turned out to be 
a case of wasted oysters. Steele was a veteran of the Civil war. 
He had belonged to the famous Pennsylvania Bucktails, mem- 
bership in which was 'granted only to dead shots. Steele came 
out of the war with the scars of four bullet wounds and one severe 
saber cut. 

The i^lan of the Burns syndicate was to fence in the whole 
tideflats. This had been done in Seattle and those who had 
done the fencing had been given first opportunity to buy the 
tidelands from the state, the fencing being styled as "improve- 
ments." Anderson quickly learned of the formation of the syn- 
dicate and one of his agents became a member of it. Having 
Jieard definitely of its plans Anderson immediately dispatched 
emissaries to various points on the soimd to hire every j^ile-driver 
and to buy every pile in the water. In all, thirteen drivers were 
rented, each at $10 a day. Despite this precautionary measure 
the syndicate's agents succeeded in finding one old pile-driver 
in Port Townsend that had been overlooked by Anderson's men, 
and they quickly brought it to Tacoma. That night its watch- 
man strayed up town and the next day, when an attempt was 
made to operate it, its engine was found to be out of order. By 
the time repairs had been made Anderson had four piledrivers on 


the ground, and ^vlien the syndicate's machine moved out to begin 
business, Anderson's surrounded it. Captain Burns, in charge 
of the syndicate's operations, asked the Anderson captani what 
he proposed to do. The reply was : 

"We are going to drive a pile on each side, and one behind, 
of every one that you drive." 

Beaten, the syndicate gave up its plan, moved out of the 
channel and began staking out property on the far side of the 
flats. The Anderson forces proceeded then to the enclosure of 
the tideflats adjacent to the waterway, and ran a "fence" far 
out, embracing the most valuable of the lands. To discourage 
syndicate meddling the land company placed armed men on the 
fence and it was tlius guarded for some time. I>ater the land 
company bought the property from the state, and several years 
afterward, when the division of the spoils w^as made between the 
land company and the railroad company the tidelands, as well as 
the waterfront property generally, fell into railway hands, along 
with the charred remains of Villard's famous Tourist Hotel. 







WHYTE's costly "fir lodge" OLDS BUILDING HAS FIRST 


A disastrous fire broke out at 3 o'clock Sunday morning,. 
April 13, 1884. Its origin never was certainly known, though 
opinion concentrated iij^on the theory that a drinking party com- 
jDosed of a few men and women in its wild merriment upset a 
lamp. The hose company members were on hand within fifteen 
minutes, but the apparatus was of no use; the water pressure 
amounted to nil. The fire quickly swept the block on the west 
side of Pacific Avenue from Eighth to Ninth streets. Fife saved 
his store which stood on what is now the Donnelly corner, by 
the liberal use of wet blankets. A ditch in Ninth Street, filled just 
then by the flow of water down the hill, was dipped almost dry 
by the bucket brigade, but without it the damage might liave been 
greater. The loss ran to $130,000. The principal losers were: 
A. Parker & Co., furniture dealers; John Macready, hardware; 
Gross Bros., drygoods; John S. Baker & Co., groceries; Crowell 
Bros., photographers; Rebard & Williams, real estate dealers; 
Samuel Simons, cigardealer; Isaac Bros.; Dennis & Hains, bar- 
bers; H. O. Ball, contractor; Tacoma Savings Bank; Bostwick & 
Davis, druggists ; A. Simon, shoe dealer; Hooker & Ashton, attor- 
neys. The bank occupied the building at the corner of Ninth, 
owned by C. B. Wright. This was the first brick building on the 


Showing A. G. Butler's gun store, L. Wolff & Company's bakery, and .other early buildings 




townsite. AA'itliin a few hours Wright had wired from Phila- 
delphia to begin rebuilding, and within a few weeks permanent 
structures were under way, covering almost the whole of the 
burned area. Simons, the shoe dealer, fearful of further catas- 
trophe, built four huge bins on wheels when he moved into a new 
store, his thought being that if overtaken by another fire he could 
pitch his stock of shoes into the bins and quickly trundle them 
into the street. 

A few days after the fire F. S. Harmon, who had for a short 
time been a silent partner in the Parker furniture concern, bought 
Parker out. Harmon first came to Tacoma in 1882. He spent 
some time in Portland and San Francisco, and returned to 
Tacoma early in 1884. After buying out Parker he moved the 
remnants of the furniture store to a sprawling frame building 
on Commerce Street, near Ninth, and remained there three years, 
and laid the foundations for the huge, wholesale furniture concern 
which he now owns. 

Those who never had seen a sleeping car had the opportunity 
on the 16th of April when the Northern Pacific brought the 
Petrel here. It attracted much attention all along the line. 

The election of city officers in January had been held to fill 
the various positions until the regular election in ^lay, and late 
in April a mass meeting was held in the Alpha Opera House to 
nominate. The meeting nominated R. J. Weisbach, giving him 
302 votes for mayor ; 200 votes were cast for Walter J. Thompson, 
though he announced beforehand that he could not accept the 
mayoralty if elected. City Marshal Fulmer was re-nominated. 
Dennis Xearney, the notorious, received eleven votes. He 
received the nomination from the Workingmen's Union, which 
met a day or so later. It also endorsed the nomination of Weis- 
bach. A petition, signed by many prominent citizens then ])ut 
E. S. (Skookum) Smith in nomination for mayor, and he was 
endorsed by the Tacoma Temperance Voters' League and the 
W. C. T. U. These organizations also approved for the council 
J. H. Houghton, W. P. Bonney, Samuel Wilkeson, F. W. Rash- 
ford, F. T. Olds, and James V. Chamberlain, and asked Frank 
Lunkley to run for marshal. The president of the voters' league 
was Rev. C. E. Oakley, and the secretary was C. Z. Sanders. 


Weisbach was elected, receiving 486 votes; Smith received 
447. Fulnier was reelected marshal. Nearney received thirteen 
votes. Those who had nominated him refused to go to further 
lengths in his behalf. For this election about twelve hundred 
had registered, and 973 voted. The temperance element elected 
Bonney, Houghton, Wilkeson, Bashford, Olds and Chamber- 
lain. The fiery Captain Burns, wdio was a candidate for re- 
election, was defeated. Smith was defeated by the anti-Chinese 
element whicli liad begun to figure forcibly in public affairs. 
A^^eisbach openly sympathized with the anti-Chinese element, and 
later he led the eviction of the orientals. 

When the council convened a few days later, Howard Carr 
and John Fuller offered their resignations, as they declared that 
suspicious influences were controlling one of the council's appoint- 
ments. This was a shot at George E. Atkinson. At a later 
meeting the resignations were accepted, and at an election in the 
First ward, embracing Old Tacoma, Atkinson and Sam C. 
Howes were elected to fill the vacancies. 

The council, after months of public debating, established fire 
limits in the spring of 1884, though a petition from the Four- 
teenth Street neighborhood protested against the inclusion of 
that section on the ground that the deep gulch at that point made 
the construction of permanent buildings an impossibility. The 
demand for ])asements had not developed and the value of lots 
below grade in the business section was not yet appreciated. 
When it became fairly certain that the ordinance would pass a 
large number of cheap buildings w^ere started and hastened to 
completion before the new law took effect. 

What the old Indians said was the w^orst stretch of winter 
they ever had experienced began in 1883, about the middle of De- 
cember. Snow fell every day oi* so for seventeen days, accom- 
panied by sleet and cold weather. The heavy crust on the snow 
tied up vehicle travel, and it seriously impeded the trains. The 
temperature at The Dalles was 2.5° below zero. The lowest tem- 
perature in Tacoma was 11° above on the 16th. ]More than two 
feet of snow covered the town. Several buildings collapsed. 
Charles Langert pitched through a skylight while cleaning his 
roof. There was fine sleighing for many days. There was but 


one genuine cutter in town, but there were many improvisations. 
The storm along the Columbia River tied up the railroads, and 
Tacoma had no mail for about a month. Two hunters were lost 
in the snow south of town. In the spring the body of one of 
them was found. The w^eather observer of that period and 
for a number of years was Editor Fuller. His reports for '83 
show that in December the tide reached twentv feet, the highest 
in eighteen years. 

February 20 brought another storm. A snow of about 
eighteen inches fell. W. G. Rowland tells how, when he reached 
the townsite on St. Valentine's day, 1884, among the first men 
he met was J. S. Howell, father of the present secretary of state, 
I. H. Howell. Howell, Sr., was in the real estate business and 
was an earnest portrayer of the salubrities of the climate. He 
impressed upon Rowland that this was a country to which the 
snowflake was foreign and storms unknown. Rowland went to 
bed full of the thought that he had found Eden. He rose to 
find nearly two feet of snow on the ground and several rdof s cavea 
in from the weight of it, among the heaviest losers being the 
Granger & Williams livery barn. But out of the wreckage the 
liverymen dragged a few sleighs which were so eagerly taken by 
the townsjjeople at the rate of $1 an hour that the concern's 
troubles quickly were over. The snow remained for several days. 

Rev. ]Mr. Devore was starting a new jNIethodist Church on 
G Street near Twenty-first; the Tacoma Savings Bank was 
opened by T. A. Wilson and C. B. Wilfley; Pincus Bros, under- 
took to establish a newspaper called the Sunbeam in Steilacoom, 
but its shafts soon faded. The Germans formed the German 
Singing Societ}^ with George Kiehlmeyer, president; and Prof. 
Robert A. Wagner, director, and a German paper, Die Wacht 
Am Sunde, was established by Arthur Weichbrod with Ernest 
Hoppe as one of his helpers. 

The Sons of Veterans organized with George W. Alexander, 
captain; Charles Sprague, first lieutenant; W. W. Sprague, 
second lieutenant; Charles Junett, chaplain; L. M. Dennis, 


Tlie arrival of the O. R. & N. steamer Olympian, March 6, 
1884, was an event of considerable importance to this city and 


to shipping circles in the Northwest. The vessel was brought 
around the horn by Capt. Henry S. Ackley. She was a side- 
wheeler, costing $285,000, and her run was between Taconia and 
Victoria. Her speed was twenty miles an hour. A sister ship, 
the Alaskan, was then on the way to the coast. 

There had been much conjecture regarding the relative speeds 
of the Olympian and Yosemite, and all the towns along the sound 
were awaiting the day for a biiish between them. The masters 
of the boats had worked themselves into a choler, and the Yose- 
mite's skipjDer finally offered to bet $5,000 on his boat. The 
rival captain did not cover the wager, but he put his boat in trim, 
stowed away some bacon and oil against the day of reckoning 
and waited. One April day the race was run and the Olympian, 
though steaming poorly at the time, showed her heels to the 

Even to this day one now and then hears a snake story in 
Old Tacoma — an echo of the abandonment on the beach there 
of the Ecuadorian bark JNIaria, in 1884*. The vessel came to 
Tacoma for lumber but was declared unseaworthy. As she lav 
there, the story goes, she was visited by the small boys of Old 
Town some of whom returned to their homes one daj^ with the 
declaration that they had seen aboard the vessel many large 
snakes. The master of the vessel, Capt. Nicoli Guegleo, ex- 
plained this by saying that when he left South America he took 
earth for ballast and he thought it not impossible that the snakes 
might have been in the earth. The snake story grew apace and 
finally one of the eastern papers had the old ship fairly loaded to 
the rail with anacondas. The ship was sold in a short time and 
broken ujd. The workmen found no snakes and later it developed 
that the snake story was nothing but a reporter's dream. It was 
said that the Maria was the first to fly the American flag in the 
English Channel. She was built after the fasliion of old Dutch 
vessels with extravagantly painted designs and garish carving. 
She is said to have been 108 years old when she came to Tacoma. 
Captain Hill bought and wrecked her, and later E. J. White 
bought the hull and July 10, 1886, he burned her to the water's 
edge for the iron that was in her. 

The summer of 1884 gave the town its first ice service. Cap- 


tain Charles A. Enell, the brick manufacturer and harbor master 
undertaking to ship ice from Portland to be sold to consumers 
at 60 cents a hundred, but each consmiier had to deposit 70 cents 
for the use of the box in which the ice came. IVIany years ago 
some San Francisco men, mistaking the climate of the Puget 
Sound country, sent a ship here, expecting it to load with ice for 
the market of the California city. On another occasion Captain 
Blinn undertook to bring ice to the sound from Sitka, Alaska. 
He had depots in Seattle and Olympia. The ice melted so 
rapidly and the demand was so small that Blinn almost went 
bankiiipt in the enterprise. A few years later Calif ornians began 
cutting ice in the mountains back of San Francisco, and they 
shipped it to Puget Sound with some success, besides supplying 
the California markets. 

Blinn was one of the richest men in the state. One year his 
returns to the Government showed his income to be $38,000. 
Like many other rich men before and since, he had aspirations 
to the United States Senate, and when he saw what he — and 
perhaps covetous acquaintances — thought, was a favorable oppor- 
tunity, he threw himself and his purse into the contest, chartering 
steamboats and orators, halls and heelers, with an abandon that 
diminished his pecuniary, but failed to forward his political, 
fortune. It was a period of great prosperity for those whose 
abilities attracted the attention of Blinn. 

One of the summer pleasures was camping at Point Defiance, 
to which Tacomans went to spend several days or weeks at a 
time, and they were careful to take arms. An Indian shot a 
large cougar there in 1884, and bears and bobcats frequently were 

Perfection Lodge No. 9, Masonic, was established jNIay 5, 
1884, with James Buckley, general manager of the Nortliern 
Pacific Railroad; Otis Sprague, Walter J. Thompson, Henry 
Drum, W. B. Blackwell, and Elwood Evans in the leading offices. 
All were thirty-second degree Masons. 

Considerable satisfaction was expressed wlien Hill Harmon 
established a stage line between Tacoma and Steilacoom, making 
three trips a week, and charging $2 for the round-tri]). 

The first Woman's Relief Corps was organized ^lay 15, M'ith 


Mrs. Byron Barlow, Mrs. O. L. Parks, JNIrs. Z. X. ^IcCoy, JNliss 
E. H. Bostwick, Mrs. W. B. Blackwell, Mrs. W. W. Smith, 
Mrs. B. R. Everett and ^Irs. H. C. Bostwick as the officers. 

Women figured more prominently when in a few days Judge 
Greene convened the district court and several of them were sum- 
moned for grand jury dut}\ These women were JNIrs. B. Barlow, 
Mrs. F. Fuller, ]Mrs. D. Lister, Mrs. E. Monroe and ^Nlrs. E. I. 
Ross. At this term of court C. M. Easterday, B. W. Coiner, 
George Hazzard and Thomas Carroll were admitted to practice. 
The women, and the eleven men W'ho served with them returned 
a number of indictments among which was one against a notorious 
character, ]\Irs. ]\Iary Coffer, alias jNIollie Rosenkranz, whose 
establishment on the west side of Broadway, between Eleventh 
and Tliirteeenth, in a three-story structure still standing, gave the 
police a great deal of trouble. Her attorneys raised the ques- 
tion whether married women were householders within the mean- 
ing of the law pertaining to grand juries. This, of course, was a 
serious attack on the general question of equal suffrage, as well 
as a possible loophole of escape for the indicted woman. The 
judge, in an elaborate opinion, decided that the women grand- 
jurors were householders, which gave the suffragists new hope 
that tlieir recently-acquired franchise would stand. The Rosen- 
kranz woman appealed her case. An election was coming on and 
there was fear that the next legislative assembly would undo what 
its predecessors had done. The women organized an Equal Rights 
Association, with ]\Irs. Frances Barlow as president, ]Mrs. U. E. 
Lister, vice president; ]Mrs. Z. X. ^IcCoy, secretary, and held 
several meetings, at one of which ]Mrs. Abigail Duniway again 
spoke. They talked of putting an independent ticket in the field, 
but abandoned the idea. They did, Iiowever, press so hard that 
two of their sex were nominated by the other parties the following 

The area covered by the gas service was bounded bv A Street 
and Tacoma Avenue, and South Sixth and Thirteenth streets. 
The gasometer was 22 feet in height and its capacity 56,540 cubic 
feet. Gas was bm-ned at General Sprague's residence January 
27, 188.5 — the first gas connection in the town. 

About the middle of July the Tacoma Guard was formed 


with ^Vlbert AVliyte as captain, Harry Baehr, first lieutenant, 
E. J. Steir, second lieutenant, Dr. J. S. Winterniute, surgeon, 
and Aug. X. Plate, Jas. V. Chainl)erlain, George H. Tarhell. 
and Kichard T. Love, sergeants. Among the privates were 
James ]M. Ashton, later a general; B. Stanley Banks, Charles S. 
Hayward, A. E. ScharfF, Will C. Bell, R. G. Burton, George B. 
Cook, R. H. Wilkinson, A. T. Patrick, S. F. Lawton, W. J. 
Fife, George W. Fife, C. B. Wilfley, F. S. Harmon, W. P. 
Pritchard, John Pedergast, W. W. Sprague, John Macready, 
Freemont Campbell, L. E. Quade, Harry ]M. Ball, A. R. 
Watson, Fred Smith, W. F. Daniels, Henry Drum, George L. 
Dickson, George W. Driver, and John S. Baker, and James H. 
Junett was the drummer. 

Whyte was a Scot and had been trained in the British army. 
He had come to Tacoma in 1883, having been sent by C. B. 
Wright, from Philadelphia, wdiere he was a student of law. He 
had been at work on a plan to bring Scotch colonists to this 
country, and Wright heard about it, sent for him, arid at once 
closed arrangements for him to come to Tacoma. He brought 
with him T. D. Powell, w4io for a while was a printer and studied 
law in spare moments and who became one of the city's leading 
men. Whyte had little money of his own, bvit he brought $.5,000 
which had been pooled by Philadelphia friends for invest- 
ment here. He hunted up Robert Wingate, also a Scot, and 
they decided that the best investment at the moment was a pair 
of lots on Pacific Avenue at $2,500 each. He communicated with 
his clients but they ridiculed his proposal. They were unable to 
see how a twenty-five-foot lot in such a wilderness as they ])ic- 
tured Tacoma to be could be worth $2, .500. Wingate suggested 
that he and Whyte buy the lots, and this was done, Wingate fur- 
nishing the money, and Whyte making the deal. When Isaac 
Anderson was asked to have the deeds made out to Wingate he 
objected, saying that Wingate already had too much Tacoma 
property and that some of the good things should be left for 
others, especially new-comers. But Whyte pressed tlie mattei- 
and the deeds were made. A few days later the lots were sold 
for an advance of $1,.500, Whyte receiving $7.50. 

"I took that money to mv room as if in a dream," said 


Whyte recently. "It was in gold. I locked the door and stacked 
the gold on the table. I scarcely could believe my own eyes. I 
had studied for the law and had intended to practice it. But the 
canny Wingate had shown me an easier way. In a very few 
years I was paying taxes on $317,000." A few years later Cap- 
tain Whj^te j)ut $30,000 into Fir Lodge, the large square house 
now standing in a bend of the old Steilacoom car line, about seven 
miles from Tacoma. When he bought the place with its 320 
acres, and began living in a little cabin there, he walked to and 
from town with a rifle across his arm, and frequently shot a 
grouse or a deer. He gave a right of way to the street car line 
on consideration that it pass two sides of his property. This 
accounts for the curve at Fir Lodge. 

He joined with Nelson Bennett in forming the West Shore 
Land Company and in buying a large tract on the shore south of 
Steilacoom which, it was believed, would be demanded by the 
Union Pacific Railroad, which was expected to enter Tacoma 
by that route. Later he bought Bennett's interest. Like many 
others he was left without an acre, and with scarcely a dollar by 
the panic of 1893. He now lives in Vancouver where he is prom- 
inent in business and social circles. 

In a short time John M. Bell became captain of the Guard's 
Rifle Team, and general trainer at target shooting. Bell had 
come to town as night operator for the Western Union Telegraph 
Company, and was attracting attention as a marksman. It was 
not long until he had organized a band of crack marksmen. Cap- 
tain Whyte resigned after a while, on account of business affairs, 
and was succeeded by Aug. Plate. Whyte soon afterward was 
made assistant adjutant general of the territory, but the duties 
of that office did not take him away from his business here. 
Whyte figured largely as an entertainer. He was an elocu- 
tionist, lectured now and then before the seminary girls, and 
appeared on many programs. Another name that appeared 
many times on the programs of that period was that of Master 
Harry Opie. 

Fire broke out just after midnight, July 25, 1884, in the rear 
of the American House on the west side of Pacific Avenue, at 
Seventh Street, quickly spread to the Beehive Saloon and then 


to the Elite Photograph Gallery. Men who were assisting in 
the removal of the Elite's movable property upset a lamp and 
a second fire thus was started. The flames swept southward to 
the Grotto House, and flying sparks soon started fires in the 
buildings on Railroad Street. An exploding lamp started an- 
other in Heman's saloon, in the same block. In a short time 
thirty-two buildings had been burned and Whiskey Row was a 
thing of the past. The loss was about $40,000. Cigars and bottled 
liquors were scattered for blocks around. A. Simon again was 
burned out and the Tacoma Savings Bank was another second- 
time loser. Some damage was done to buildings on the east side 
of Pacific Avenue. The Halstead house had caught fire several 
times. Fife's two buildings were pulled down to prevent further 
spread of the fire. But before they were demolished Fife had 
saved the doors and windows even to the casings. 

The Chamber of Commerce was showing great earnestness 
in its efl'orts to develop trade with the islands and subsidied the 
steamer Bob Irving, the nucleus of the present mosquito fleet. 
The Chamber also raised $4,000 to encourage the constiTiction 
of a good wagon road to Puyallup. C. B. Wright, Gross Bros., 
W. H. Fife, Louis Levin, Peter Irving, F. T. Olds and others 
were pushing the construction of brick, stone and iron buildings 
to replace those which had been burned south of Ninth Street. 
The Olds Building was the first in the town to have an elevator. 












The great event of the summer and one that was to have a 
large influence on the future of the city was the opening of the 
Tacoma Hotel August 8, 1884. The plans for the handsome 
structure had been made by McKim, JNIead & White, of Xew 
York, architects of international reputation. White in after 
years lost his life at the hands of Harry Thaw. William M. 
Whidden of Xew York was the supervising architect, and the con- 
tractor Avas F. W. Lewis. The furniture came from John ^Van- 
amaker's at a cost of about $40,000. The total cost of the hotel 
was $267,000. Manager Tyler brought a crew of waiters from 
New York under James Moran. George Dudleston was the 
chef and J. W. Smith, steward; Miss M. C. Wright was house- 
keeper; George R. Wells, day clerk; Tyler even imported the 
barber — Gottlieb Jaeger. The night clerk was J. R. D. Conger, 
a Civil war veteran, who, with his bride, had come to Tacoma in 
1870. He had been purser on several coast and sound steamers, 
among them the George E. Starr. He was a draftsman, artist 





and accountant. He made a number of valuable crayon sketches 
of Tacoma in the early days. His widow, Elizabeth, now has 
them. He held several public offices and was the first assistant 
city controller, under Fred Taylor, and later adjutant at the 
soldiers' home in Orting. 

JMost of the residents of Tacoma attended the hotel opening 
and many came from other cities. Charles B. Wright and party 
were here from Philadelphia. Tacomans paced the broad 
verandas and inspected the handsomely furnished parlors and 
rooms, amazed at the richness and dimensions of the establish- 
ment. What need had the hotel for a potato-peeler, operated by 
steam that would peel a barrel of potatoes in twenty minutes? 
When would it ever use its oven, large enough for 500 pies and 
2o0 loaves of bread? 

Seattle and Portland, too, marveled at the daring of those 
who had poured their money into this beautiful hostelry, set down 
in the mud! 

Another cause for felicitation was the completion after many 
complications of Annie Wright Seminary. Bishop Paddock had 
raised $35,000 with which to construct the building, and Charles 
B. Wright had endowed the institution with $50,000. The 
faculty consisted of INIrs. Lemuel H. Wells, principal; Rev. 
Lemuel H, Wells, chaplain; Annie A. Breck, English and Latin; 
Stella B. Garretson, vocal and instrumental music; ^Nlrs. A. H. 
W. Raynor, English and mathematics; jMiss E. Fullick, drawing 
and painting; Madame ^lerkel, French and German; lecturers — 
Rev. R. D. Xevius, botany, and Rev. Mr. Wells, history. The 
school opened September 3, 1884, with forty-six pupils, while 
carpenters, plasterers and painters were still at work. 

Another fire, this time at the head of tlie bay, destroyed the 
S])rague & Hamilton Warehouse and Timm k Falk's dairy. It 
was the work of an incendiarist. All tlirougli 1884 and 1885 
fires were numerous. INIany of tliem, it was alleged, were set. 
The demand for an adequate water system grew acute. Sprague's 
forces were pushing the new water works system with all rapidity. 
A contract for building six miles of the canal from Spanaway 
lake was let to Jolin Huntington. A large force of men was 
clearing the site for the Hood Street reservoir. Tlie Cogswells 

^nl. T— 21 


had the flume contract. Among others who were employed there 
was George Milton Savage, who, a short time before had arrived 
in Tacoma, after having driven a team from St. Paul. He was 
engaged to haul rock for the foundations of the reservoir. A few 
years ago he was the owner of a company which had the contract 
for the rej^air of this reservoir, and the rock was removed. 
Savage had it carried to Pros]3ect Hill where he used it in the 
new foundations of a home he had just bought there. Another 
large crew of men was clearing out Galliher Gulch, and stone 
was coming from Wilkeson for the heavy foundations upon which 
were to be set the large Holley engines for supplying the high 
service. John Budlong had the contract for setting a large 
waterwheel in the gulch, this to propel the dynamo which soon 
was to supply the community with electricity. The water for 
the wheel had a head of 85 feet. 

Tacoma was all excitement when Nelson Bennett wired that 
he had received the contract for building the Northern Pacific line 
from South Prairie eastward. Visions of the completed trans- 
continental line no longer were remote. 

For years ofl* and on explorations had been conducted by the 
railroad's surveying j^arties, seeking an easy pass. As said before 
Naches pass practically had been decided upon at one time and 
for many months it was taken for granted that this one would 
be used. Seattle meantime was fighting hard for the opening of 
the Green River coal fields, and Villard, in 1881, finally sent a 
party to renew explorations in that direction, under the guidance 
of Virgil Bogue. One of the members of the party was Clarence 
K. Clarke, now manager of the City of Tucson, Arizona, who 
contributes the following statement to the history of the sun^ey 
and the naming of Stampede Pass : 

"What is now called Stampede Pass was discovered by Mr. 
Virgil G. Bogue, assistant engineer for the Northern Pacific 
Railway, in oNIarch, 1881. He gave it the name of Pass No. 1. 
He also discovered and named Pass No. 2 and 3 while on the 
same exploration trip. He also examined the next pass to the 
north which was called Cedar River Pass, because the drainage 
led to Cedar River. Within one-third of a mile of the summit 


of Pass Xo. 1, where the pack trail crossed, was a small lake, 
known as Stampede Lake. 

"It was so named because, while the gang of trail cutters were 
camped at the lake they rebelled against their foreman and all 
but one man quit, and left the service. The one man who re- 
mained was Johnny Bradley — a Pierce County boy — who 
fastened to a tree a small piece of board on which he marked 
with a jDencil 'Stampede Camp.' Bradley's name for the camp 
passed to the lake and later to the pass. It was my privilege to 
be rodman in the first engineering party to set a stake at the 
summit of Stampede Pass. A. O. Eckleson was assistant en- 
gineer in charge of the party, Thos. L. Nixon, transitman, Charles 
H. Ballard, levelman, and Willian^ H. Carleton, topographer. 

"Two years later it was my privilege to be again assigned to 
work at Pass No. 1, which had been named Stampede Pass. In 
April, 1883, J. O. Barlow's locating party was ordered from the 
vicinity of Ellensburg to the summit to make the final tunnel 
location, which was accomplished early in May. Barlow's assis- 
tants were S. P. Panton, transitman, "Buge" Knowlton, 
topographer, and myself, levelman. 

"The first to cross the Cascade Mountains and explore the 
Green River country was Tilton Sheets, a Northern Pacific Com- 
pany's assistant engineer. This was late in the fall of 1880. 

"In November, 1880, to Captain Kingsbury, an assistant en- 
gineer, was assigned the task of taking an engineering party to 
the Green River summit. He was relieved by Mr. Bogue, who 
after many difficulties reached the Green River summit from 
which he made exhaustive preliminary surveys, completing the 
work early in June, 1881. He then moved the engineering parties 
to the Sunday Creek drainage in which are located tlie three 
passes which he numbered 1 (now Stampede), 2 and 3. From 
January until ]May, 1882, our locating party was assigned to tlie 
Columbia River above The Dalles, on what is now known as the 
North Bank Road. I have read some erroneous articles relative 
to the North Bank Route, its discovery and conquest by explorers 
who it seems incredible could have missed our marks and stakes. 

"I have given vou absolutely correct the origin of the name 
Stampede as applied to the pass." 


While Clarke property gives to ^Ir. Bogue, the engineer in 
charge, the credit of discovering Stampede Pass, Thomas L. 
Nixon is believed to have been the man who actually found it. 
The party had been working in the timbered canyons for some 
time and had about given up when Nixon, wlio knew the country, 
asked permission to make a further examination. This the chief 
engineer thought would not be of value. One Saturday afternoon 
Clarke and Nixon Mere ordered to go to the summit and there 
receive the notes of the party working on the east side. Arriving 
at the point designated the men were told that there would be no 
work for them that afternoon and it was then that Nixon pro- 
posed to Clarke that they make the investigation of the new coun- 
try. They started oif over the rocks. Returning to camp they 
informed the engineer that they had discovered a way by which 
the line could reach the summit without exceeding the maximum 
limit set on the grade. He was doubtful, and Clarke and Nixon 
had difficulty in persuading him that they had really discovered 
a solution of the problem. It was finally decided to run a line 
through the country explored by the two men and when this w^ork 
was completed it became the present line of the Northern Pacific 
over the pass. It w^as Bogue himself who discovered and named 
Sunday Creek, in a lonely reconnaissance through the wilderness 
on a Sunday. It was the discovery of this creek which led to the 
hope that a suitable pass could be found. It encouraged Col. 
Isaac W. Smith, who was in supreme command, to push his forces 
with greater energy into the work and led eventually to the final 

, W. P. Bonney was the- express carrier between Tacoma and 
the summit, and he rode ponies over the long, hard trail, having 
six relays, and sometimes the journey was made with much of 
the speed and Sj^irit of the old-time pony exj^ress riders of the 

After ten years of excellent service the Blackwell Hotel on 
the wharf was closed November 15, 1884. The north room of 
the new Ouimette Block, on the nortlnvest corner of Pacific 
Avenue and Eleventh Street was leased as a city hall, and W. J. 
JNIeade, the city clerk moved into it. The council had given up 
its large ideas of a city hall, the city debt having chilled its ambi- 


tions. The grading of Eleventh Street from A to I streets was 
ordered, with the hope that that street might at last become pass- 
able. Four years before, in 1880, George JNIorin had cut a road- 
way from D Street to Pacific Avenue and had driven the first 
vehicle on Eleventh Street, perilously rolling and rocking over 
great roots, stumps and ravines. 

In November Stuart Rice was reelected to the school board, 
and William Christie was given a seat there. He was elected by 
the anti-Chinese element. James Wickersham was chosen pro- 
bate judge. The republican ticket generally was elected, and 
the county cast its vote for Blaine. Freemont Campbell v^as 
elected prosecuting attorney, H. R. Cox county superintendent 
of schools, JNI. J. Cogswell, F. R. Spinning and Edward Huggins, 
county commissioners; Benjamin JNIacready, assessor; John 
Murray, treasurer; W. B. Kelley, auditor; George Byrd, repre- 
sentative. The heaviest taxpayers at this time were Charles 
Hanson, E. S. Smith, General Sprague, Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., 
L. M. Starr, Isaac Pincus, Mrs. Julia McCarver, Jacob C. ]Mann, 
A. J. Baker and John C. Ainsworth. H. E. Knatvold was 
building a shingle mill and bucket and tub factory on the Old 
Tacoma waterfront, investing there about $10,000. H. O. Ball 
was erecting a commodious skating rink on C Street, south of the 
old court house, and the Tacoma guards arranged to use it as an 
armory. The guards were collecting from the business men about 
$800 for uniforms and soon marched forth in gilded glory. John 
IMacready was wearing his shirt upside down to the merriment of 
the community, he having wagered with S. C. Slaughter on the 
election, and lost. A college alumni association was formed witli 
A. S. Abernethy, Jr., as president, and Dr. H. C. JNIcCord. 

Tlie church review at the close of '84 showed that the religious 
life of the community was growing. It then had the Presbyte- 
rian Cliurch, which had started in a tent in Old Tacoma in '7*J. 
with Rev. Theodore CroM'l ])reaching occasionally. Rev. T. C. 
Armstrong had come October 80, 1880, wlien the unorganized 
church had seven members. They first used the INIetliodist Church 
in the new town, then the "brick hall," in the Wriglit Building at 
Ninth and Pacific, which served one church infant after another. 


Then the congregation moved to Cogswell's Hall and finally to 
the Alpha Opera House. When the active Armstrong left in 
May of '84 the membership numbered 95 and owned, free of debt, 
the handsome building at Eleventh and C, lots and all, worth 
$20,000, and there were 130 in the Sunday school. 

The German :M. E. Church, Rev. J. S. C. St. Clair, had 16 
members as a result of about a year's work. The German Luth- 
eran, organized in '84, had 20 members and Rev. F. X. Wolf was 
the pastor. The Scandinavian ]M. E., Rev. C. J. Larson, had not 
yet acquired a building. The Swedish Evangelical, organized by 
Rev. P. Carlson in '82, now had 55 members, with Rev. G. A. 
Anderson leading the flock. Its churcli building was erected 
in '83. 

The Methodist Church, organized ])y the indefatigable 
DeVore, had 120 members and a substantial building and a par- 
sonage costing $685; Rev. J. A. Ward was the jjastor, and the 
membership was 120. DeVore had built a second church in the 
southern part of the city and was raising funds to build a third 
in Old Tacoma. 

The Congregationalists, organized in '74, built in '83 a $3,500 
church on St. Helens Avenue where Eighth would be if opened. 
It is now a carpenter shop. In '84 it had 60 members, with 
Rev. E. C. Oakley as pastor. The Episcopalians had St. 
Peter's in Old Tacoma, and the $35,000 St. Luke's, built by 
C. B. Wright, and Rev. L. H. Wells was the rector. The Unita- 
rian congregation was small but active, and Rev. G. H. Greer 
was the minister. St. Leo's, Catholic, had seats for 600. The 
church and furnishings were worth about $11,000. Father Hyle- 
bos had been to Rome and to his old home in Belgium on a visit 
and had brought back m ith him fine carvings for the adornment 
of his church, and he also had procured a painting of St. Leo, 
worth $1,000. 

The town had 30 saloons. The notorious Morgan, who was 
running the Eureka, had been arrested several times for gambling, 
and was laving the groundwork for a long and intenselv bitter 
battle. Crime was increasing rapidly. INIore evil resorts were 
opening. A Law and Order League was formed. Marshal 
Fulmer was accused of allegiance with the underworld, and 


impeachment j)roceedings were begun. Politics figured in the 
charge and in the trial. Fulmer was acquitted, to the surprise of 
the better element, and he was reelected in May, '85. He would 
not have been had the moral forces been united. JNIorgan had 
been attempting for some time to get a license for his saloon, but 
W. P. Bonney and J. H. Houghton stood in the way for several 
months. Finally they were outvoted and Morgan opened the 
"Board of Trade Billiard Hall" Avhere the Eureka had been. 

Mr. Bonney at ajjout this time introduced an ordinance pro- 
viding for the appointment of a chief of police, his aim being to 
centralize responsibility for the increasing disorder, and he also 
introduced the first pure food ordinance. Since the beginning 
of the town it had been the custom of the butchers to skin and 
quarter carcasses on the sidewalks. An end was put to this. The 
ordinance was designed to compel cleanliness in the butcher shops 
and groceries, and to require the dealers to sell only fresh and 
pure foods. False labels were forbidden and the ordinance also 
undertook to end the Chinese custom of draining the suds of 
washhouses into the streets. 

Calvin D. Beals, insane from worry over the insanity of his 
brother, excited the community by firing a revolver at INIiss 
Griggs, manager of the Western Union telegraph office, and 
murder was probably prevented by the bravery of operator W. B. 
Spencer. Beals had a large amount of money on his person. 
Both of the brothers were sent to the hospital at Fort Steilacoom. 
Shortly after this S. T. Armstrong became manager of the West- 
ern Union telegraph office and remained there for many years. 
He still lives in Tacoma, now aged and blind. 

James Hamilton Lewis had come to Tacoma with the 
announcement that his purpose was to represent Washington 
Territory in Congress. He occupied modest offices, but his rai- 
ment then gave promise of the brilliance which it later attained. 
He remained but a short time and is said to have removed to 
Seattle as the result of one of Doctor Wintermutc's ]iractical 

Tn that day the "drawing" still flourished, the federal laws 
not yet having drawn the line sharply. A. Barnes & Co., mer- 
chants, announced that "a carefully selected committee," con- 


sisting of A. McCulley, Allen C. Mason and W. J. Meade would 
serve as guardians of a drawing, and on the evening ax3pointed a 
great crowd gathered. The three luckiest tickets drew an 
"elegant six-bottle castor," a "silk-embossed album" and a "silk 
plush toilet set." 

An episode that filled the newsj^apers for several days con- 
cerned an alleged assault upon R. F. Radebaugh by Frank Ailing. 
The}^ were neighbors on Wapato Lake. Ailing, who had a 
grudge against Radebaugh, bumped into him on the sidewalk in 
the presence of several witnesses. Radebaugh sought to have 
Ailing declared a dangerous man and placed under bonds. Many 
witnesses were called for the purpose of showing Ailing to be 
quarrelsome, and attempts were made to paint him considerably 
worse than that. It was shown that he had cut another man's 
bee-tree and S. B. Alvey declared on the stand that he believed 
Ailing had set his house on fire, although Ailing attributed the 
act to Indians. The court finally acquitted Ailing. Ailing was 
known as a man who could hate quite as deeply as he could love, 
and he had plenty of trouble in the early days. In his later 
years he mellowed a good deal and before he died he had made a 
reputation as a kind-hearted, generous man. 

The first street car franchise was asked for January 6, 1885, 
by Allen C. INIason, JNI. B. Butler and N. R. Gruelle. They pro- 
posed to build a line on Pacific Avenue, running up Ninth Street, 
on St. Helens Avenue to Division, then on Tacoma Avenue to 
Starr Street, thence to Old Tacoma. The fare was to be ten 
cents. The councilmen thought the town was not yet ready for 
a street car line, and, though considerable pressure was brought 
by Mason and his friends his j)etition for a franchise reposed in a 
a pigeonhole for many months. 

James Longmire was seeking the aid of the county in opening 
a road to the mountain, and soon received it in a small way. In 
1883 Longmire had gone to what we now know as Longmire 
Springs with P. B. Van Trump and others for a second 
ascent of the mountain. While camping in the vallej^ of the 
Nisqually the horses strayed away. Longmire searched for some 
time before he found them in a grassy swale covered with brush 
wliich so interested him that he began looking about. He discov- 


ered the springs. He called his companions and they spent some 
time examining the phenomena. Longmire told them that on 
account of the fine grass he expected to take a homestead there. 
JNIany wild pigeons were about the springs. The location pleased 
Longmire because it was near the trail which he had built in 1861 
from Yelm to Bear Prairie over jNIashell Mountain. In 1862 
while Longmire, James Packwood, Henry Winsor and others 
were searching for a pass superior to the Naches, through M'hich 
to bring cattle, they met Soo-too-lick on Skate Creek and asked 
him his "Boston name." The Indian said he had none. "I'll 
give you one," said Winsor. "You shall be known as 'Indian 
Henry,' " and so it was till the day of the red hunter's death. 
The beautiful park on the southwest side of oNIount Tacoma, in 
which he hunted, bears his "Boston name." In 1884 Longmire 
completed the trail to the springs, and the Longmire name soon 
became a mountain fixture. In 1864 Poniu, Sluiskin and other 
Indians told the Longmires of a silver ledge on the mountain and 
they went up to find it. They met a party of white men coming 
in from the east side looking for the same ledge, and a joint 
ownership was agreed upon, though it long was known as "Long- 
mire's silver mine." Considerable work has been done from time 
to time on this property. It lies near the foot of the northernmost 
Cowlitz Chimneys. 

Indian Henry severed his tribal relations, embraced the Catho- 
lic faith and with his three wives, took a claim in the Ohop Valley 
near Torger Peterson's place. When the order went out to 
eliminate a plurality of wives Henry and his three w^ere brought 
into court and Judge Wickersham instructed him to choose one. 
"That one," he said, after a moment's hesitation, pointing to 
Patoomlot. The next child born in Henry's family was named 
William Waukisee Wickersham, who, having reached manhood's 
estate, himself was haled into court because of a love affair. He 
went visitinc^ to the Yakima countrv and brought back with him 
a comely Indian girl. A few days later two Indians, well armed 
and of devilish a])pearance walked into Eatonville, inquired where 
Indian Henry lived and demanded li(iuor. Rant White gave 
them neither as he sus])ected that trouble was brewing. It soon 
developed that they had come after William Waukisee Wicker- 


sham's sweetheart. They charged him with abduction and her 
with a wanton fickleness. Before shooting began all parties were 
brought to Tacoma to court. Indian Henry and family were 
placed on one side and the two Yakima Indians on the other. 
The comely maiden was seated between the rival factions. The 
judge, after discussing for a moment the sanctity of the marriage 
tie and the menace of unlawful force told the girl to choose. She 
took her seat beside William Waukisee Wickersham. The rest 
was but a matter of ponies and blankets. 

There has been a theory that Henry's name, "Soot-a-lick," 
was merely his way of pronouncing "Catholic," but Henry Sicade 
says his real Indian name was "Soot-a-lick." 

While Longmire was working for the south side of the moun- 
tain George W. Driver was endeavoring to interest tourists on 
the north side. He had assisted in building the trail and later he 
opened a tourists' hotel in Wilkeson. He did not conduct the 
hotel, but merely owned the building, a fact which his family did 
not know until long after his death. The tenants occupied it for 
years without paying rent, and while the owners, after having 
discovered their ownership, were trying to collect the back rentals 
the uninsured building burned and wiped out all that the tenants 
had. The Driver heirs therefore procured nothing. Driver left 
coal properties of considerable value as the result of his years of 
mountain work, and these are now held by his daughter, Helen 

The spring of '85 witnessed a vigorous fight on Marshal 
Fulmer, who was accused of frequenting saloons and of serious 
delinquency in his duties. The three officers under him — Cav- 
anaugh, Brotton and King — signed a public statement denounc- 
ing him. Isaac Durboraw and others brought impeachment 

Twenty-seven brick store buildings were under way in the 
summer of '84, and the burned-over areas were being covered 
rapidly. The council, hastening through the ordinance giving 
to C. B. Wright and his associates a water franchise, expected 
at an early date more ample fire protection, taking the precau- 
tion meantime to discuss an ordinance requiring each householder 
to have on his roof barrels holding at least forty gallons of water. 


This picturesque proposal was smothered in a storm of ridicule. 
The Wright franchise was passed June 4. A few days later the 
Rosenkranz house burned, endangering Broadway and Pacific 
avenues, the Svea Hotel, on the southwest corner of Railroad 
and Eleventh streets being saved only by the greatest efforts. 
This was followed that summer by the explosion of several night 
lamps, starting other fires w^hich fortunately were discovered in 
time to prevent losses. Three fires were set, a dairying concern, 
warehouse, and the Pacific Hotel, at Seventeenth Street, being 
the victims of the incendiarists, and a little later the Cliff House, 
which stood where the Park Hotel is, was fired, with some 
damage. Burglary followed burglary. Crime was increasing at 
an alarming rate. JNIarshal Fulmer was accused of overfriend- 
liness to the vicious element. His conduct became the subject of 
much more severe censure when it was learned that the saloonmen 
had contributed to a fund to present him with a handsome gift. 
Several opium dens were raided, a white woman being found in 
one of them. 

Trains were at last running over "Villard's folly" as far as 
the end of the line near Seattle, but the status of this road, which 
also was known as the "Orphan Road," a name applied by Presi- 
dent Harris of the Northern Pacific, was by no means estab- 
lished, and in fact the train service soon was abandoned. Presi- 
dent Harris recently had been on the Sound, and Seattle had 
very sharply demanded to know of him what the company pro- 
posed to do about the incomplete line between Sumner and 
Seattle. President Harris directed the eyes of the Seattleites to 
a large pile of rails near Renton which the Oregon Improvement 
Company had deposited there with which to complete the line but 
which just then was carrying them off to Oregon. He said he 
hoped an agreement might be reached betw^een the Improvement 
Company and the Northern Pacific. He promised that the line 
over the Cascades would be built and tliat Stampede Pass, which 
Villard had chosen as the best, would be used. President Harris 
had gone to Seattle carrying the olive branch, lioping to convince 
that city that the railroad intended to be fair and that it sliould 
not be held responsible for the enormous losses whidi Seattle 
investors had suffered by following Villard. But, instead of 


oj^ening the delectable gates of peace, he only invited a torrent 
of abuse. Judge Burke denounced him most bitterly to his face, 
accused the company of deceit if not worse, and he showed at that 
time an enmity to Tacoma from which he may now be convales- 
cent, but certainly not fully recovered. The attack on the land 
orant was bitterly renewed. The editors and orators of the two 
cities quarreled with a carnivorous viciousness probably unequalled 
in the history of rival city building. 

The roar of a nine-pounder initiated July 4, '84, and the day 
was celebrated with horse races, a baseball game and public exer- 
cises. General Sprague was president of the day; Dr. J. A. C. 
McCoy, marshal; John Forbes, chief of staff; Elwood Evans 
was the orator; Albert Whyte declaimed and iNlrs. B. R. Everett 
read a poem. A nine composed of Indians defeated a white nine 
by a score of 37 to 10. General Spot, in his magnificent panoply, 
commanded the Indian contingent in the parade. The horse 
racing attracted much attention and a special train of four coaches 
carried Tacomans to the track, which was east of the present 
Tacoma cemetery. Pools on the races had been sold at the Elite 
saloon. A day or so later a petition was presented to the council 
signed by other saloonmen asking that gambling be suppressed in 
the Elite ! 

Almost as interesting to the communitj' as the Fourth of July 
celebration was the elopement, three days later, of the McCawber 
girls, ages about fourteen and sixteen, and daughters of a valley 
farmer. Late in the night Jasper Woolery and Harry Byrd 
called for them with a carriage. They drove to Steilacoom, reach- 
ing there at 2 a. m. Justice Hill Harmon was waiting by appoint- 
ment. The young couples were rowed out on the bay about two 
miles from shore and there in the early dawn of a summer morn- 
ing the double knot was tied. They returned to the Harmon 
Hotel for a wedding breakfast. 

The cast of a costume play given by the Girls' Guild of 
St. Luke's, presents the names of young women Avho were active 
in charitable work and social life: blisses ^lay Hall, Fanny 
Evans, Charlotte Simpkins, Gertrude Hall. Fanny Paddock, 
Isabella Holt, Idalia Ouimette, Florence Ouimette, Nora Hall, 


Emily Buckley, Ida Lister, Emily Evans, Jennie Forbes, Alice 
Hall and Ethel Chapin. 

The first circus of size that came to the city was Cole's, July 
14, and it was with difficulty that it found a spot large enough 
to stretch its tents, near the head of the bay. Its performance 
was attended by 4,200. 

By the first of September Xelson Bennett had let contracts 
for work west of the mountains as follows : To Fisk & McDon- 
ald, three miles of clearing; S. F. Hole, fourteen miles of clearing 
and grading; Charles Lee, three miles of grading; Burns & Chap- 
man, two miles of heavy grading; Biggs & Co., furnishing ties; 
Frankenburger & ^liller, and Halstead & Co., furnishing salved 
timber. Bennett announced that there would be neither China- 
men nor saloons on the work. Then with the resolute eneroy 
which he usually displayed he began driving his forces against 
the mountains. In a short time more than one thousand men were 
at work. Rowland & Purdy had the contract to furnish the gro- 
ceries to this army, and all the Bennett pay-checks were cashed 
here. jNIoney besran to roll into the community as it had not rolled 
before. Every train and boat brought new j)eople and ne^^■ 
money. Real estate began to move rapidly. H. L. Votaw sold 
the Votaw addition of fifty-seven acres to Baltzell & Rouse for 
$23,000 : Gross Brothers sold their new brick building on Pacific 
near Ninth to Capt. J. C. Ainsworth of Portland for $24,000 
cash, then leased it for three years; Samuel AVilkeson bought lots 
22 and 23, block 904, for $12,500 from Colonel Pinkerton; Gross 
Brothers sold to Walter J. Thompson the northwest corner of 
Pacific Avenue and Fifteenth Street for $8,000. 

Job Carr, the ])ioneer of Old Tacoma, had been prospecting 
for a bride through a correspondence bureau and Se})tember 2.') 
he married, in 01ym])ia, ^Vliss Addie Emery, slie having come 
from New York in res])onse to his proposal. Rev. Daniel Baglev 
offi.ciated. Jol) was then seventy years of age. He lived three 
years longer, dying August 10, 1887, at the home of N. J. Hunt, 
on Pacific Avenue. General Sprague officiated at his funeral, 
wliich Mas conducted ])y the G. A. R. To the day of his death 
Job Carr, as well as many others, believed that somewliere on 
JNIount Tacoma there was a great gold deposit. Now and then 


an Indian known as Kitsap (not the chief of that name) came to 
Tacoma with a pouch of nuggets which he exchanged for liquor. 
Where he procured the gold w^as a great mystery, and it was said 
that an Indian who tried to follow Kitsap to his mine never 
returned. It was the belief that Kitsaj)'s hoard was somewhere 
on Mount Tacoma and a number of white men, including Job 
Carr, endeavored to find it. George Dickson tells of having met 
Carr far up on the north side of the mountain in the early '80s, 
while Dickson and a party were hunting there. Carr would not 
tell the purpose of his visit. He was alone and very secretive. 
Carr often had visited George and William H. Dickson in their 
"United States Store" and discussed with them the source of the 
Indian's gold, and had said that he believed he could find it. 
Job's estate at the time of his death amounted to $16,673. He 
had not profited greatly by his pioneering and his years of wait- 
ing. For that matter, few of the pioneers amassed riches. W. H. 
Fife was an exception. At one time he was worth about $1,900,- 
000. But he lost all in the panic of '93. 

For the county election in the autumn of '84 the democrats 
tried the expedient of nominating a woman, INIrs. E. B. INIann 
being named for county commissioner. She was not elected. 

The democrats were encouraged to nominate her by the suc- 
cesses of INIrs. Clara McCarty Wilt and ]Mrs. George S. Greer. 
INIrs. Wilt in 1880 had been nominated when she was absent, and 
elected county school superintendent on the republican ticket. She 
took office in 1881 and directed the county's twenty-five school dis- 
tricts wdth ability. She w^as the daughter of J. W. and Ruth 
McCarty, was born in Pierce County in 18.58, and she was the only 
member of the first graduating class of the state university in 
1876. Her husband was J. H. Wilt, an early school teacher in 
Tacoma and afterwards clerk of the United States Court. ]Mrs. 
Wilt still lives in Tacoma. INIrs. Greer succeeded JNIrs. Wilt, who 
did not seek reelection. INIrs. Greer now lives in Independence, 
Ore. She was an enthusiast in education, and before breakfast 
every morning she catechised her children in history. One of her 
sons, Medric W., recently ran for mayor of Tacoma. 

The first typewriter in the county w^as brought in 1883 by 
Mrs. Wilt. She made as much as $10 a day with the machine. 
A great many people went to look at the contrivance. 


There was much opposition to women in politics. They were 
dubbed "pantaloonatics." It was believed that the next legisla- 
tive assembly either woidd radically amend or repeal the equal 
suffrage law, and this became even more certain when the 
Supreme Court upheld the verdict in the jMollie Rosenkranz case. 
The point involved was whether a married woman was a house- 
holder and therefore a competent grand juror. Associate Judges 
Hoyt and Wingard, of the State Supreme Court, held in the 
affirmative, thus giving women absolute equality before the law. 
Associate Justice Turner dissented, and wrote an opinion in 
which he so minutely dissected the law and its provisions requiring 
compulsory jury service of women that many persons became 
opposed to it. One of the stories of the time was to the effect 
that an important case in another part of the state had been 
stopped, causing trouble and delay, while a feminine juror nursed 
her babe, which had been brought half starved and squalling, to 
the courthouse by the distracted father. And a ditty of the 
period ran: 

"Nice little baby, don't get in a fury 
'Cause mama's gone to sit on the jury." 

The outlook for the woman voter was made all the darker 
when a few weeks later a petit jury composed entirely of women 
was called in this county. These women were: Ef. J. Clendenin, 
Luzenna Waddell, Amanda Spinning, Nettie Coffman, Mary 
A. Woolery, A. J. Howell, Isabella Parker, Lena McCoy, Ellen 
Simmons, A. J. Ross, Rosetta Atkinson, Letta Hodgins, Cath- 
arine Rogers, Anna Armstrong, Margaret Steward, Josephine 
Lindsaj^ Alice E. Blackwell, Stella JNIeeker, Zerelda McCoy, 
Nancy Leach, Sarah Ouimette, JNIildred Spinning, Mary A. 
Boatman and M. L. Westbrook. 

It was the opinion that tlie county officials had filled the petit 
jury with women with the expectation of creating a renewed 
opposition to equal suffrage, and that, indeed, was the effect of 
it. Many of the women bitterly opposed jury service. The law 
imposed duties which many busy housewives were unable to 

Gen. Marcellus Si:)ot, whose true name was Shad-hod-cum, 


was the leader of the catholics and of the democrats on the reserva- 
tion, wliile Peter Stanup was the head of the protestants and the 
republicans, and they used to engage in battles royal. When 
Grover Cleveland was elected President, it was assumed that 
Edwin Eells, who had been Indian agent since 1871, would be 
supplanted by a democrat, and Spot served friendly notice on 
Eells that his j)olitical hour had struck. Spot was sent for by a 
Tacoma butcher who had ambitions to enter the Indian service 
and was informed that he wanted the Indians to sign a petition 
asking for his appointment. He told Spot he w^ould give each 
Indian who called at his shop and signed the petition, a quarter's 
worth of meat. Spot spread the tidings and the incoming Indians 
almost bankrupted the butcher. Much to the surprise of Eells 
and all his friends and enemies, Eells was renominated bv Presi- 
dent Cleveland and in due time confirmed bv the Senate. This, to 
a democrat of Spot's standing, was humiliation made doubly 
severe by the fact that he had informed his followers of his large 
power in Washington and of the certainty of Eells' fall. 









Early in '85 the town had its first Polk directory. It contained 
2,763 names. Assessor IMacready at about the same time took a 
careful census of the county, and reported a population of 11,687, 
of whom 956 ^vere Chinese. The population of Tacoma was 
6,9.36; Puyallup, 389; Steilacoom, 236. There were 532 Chinese 
in Tacoma, according to this count. But it is not probable that 
any census ever did search out of the maze-like Chinatowns all of 
their inhabitants. 

There was considerable suffering in the town and a benevolent 
association was formed, the call having been issued by W. D. 
Tyler. General Sprague was made president, the city was sepa- 
rated into districts, and two women were appointed in each dis- 
trict to collect funds. The Swedes formed the Freja Benevolent 
Association, with Capt. G. F. Linquist, president: H. Xyman, 
vice president; Hugh Ohlin, secretary, and J. P. Chilberg, 

March 31, some person who professed to be speaking for 
Bishop Paddock, notified nearly every Inisiness house in town to 
deliver some article the next morning to the new home of the 
bishop. Doctors, ministers, bankers, real estate dealers, livery- 
men and many others were asked to call. The next forenoon 
there was a cavalcade of vehicles and pedestrians to the bishoj^'s 

Vol. I — 22 



house. Wagons carried stoves, sewing machines, organs, shoes, 
groceries, carpets and furniture. Physicians hastened to the 
house. Real estate agents hopefully went. The house was sur- 
rounded by callers. The good bishop was almost dumb with 
amazement. All Fools' Day was being observed on a grand scale. 

The failure in the spring of '85 of the Tacoma Savings Bank, 
which Wilson & Wilfley had established, was not a surprise to 
those who had taken the pains to examine its vitals. The direct 
cause of the failure was the withdrawal of $2,300 by Rowland 
& Purdy, who had heard of the bank's flimsy condition. It was 
a bogus institution whose principal original asset was a $5,000 
note deposited by Wilfley. Both men were arrested. Wilson, 
who had tried to quit the institution before it failed, faced his 
predicament with manliness. Wilfley fled after a few days, and 
was reported to be living in style in Victoria. A. Wolf, who had 
gone on his bond for $1,500, suddenly disposed of his store and 
departed for the south. ]Mrs. Wilfley remained. At a meeting 
of the creditors it was found that the assets were $4,913 and the 
liabilities $12,283. It also was discovered that stock which had 
been sold by the bank had been accepted a short time afterward 
as collateral for loans amounting to a half more than the pur- 
chase price. 

Another one of the numerous ambitious j^lans of erecting a 
fire headquarters building — this time on the city lots at Ninth and 
C streets, fell through, and the two hose companies were placed 
at the foot of Thirteenth Street. The apparatus then consisted 
of a hook and ladder truck, two hose carts, 3,200 feet of hose, and 
a quantity of chains and hooks, which were intended to be used 
in pulling down frame buildings. The fire building contained an 
assembly hall and reading room for the firemen. The company 
members were: No. 1 — Captain H. F. JNIcKay; assistant, W. P. 
Sundberg; O. J. Anderson, C. Burg, George Buchanan, George 
Gunn, S. D. Garrison, F. Lompardi, H. S. Lancaster, D. 
McDonald, A. ^NlcCulley, L. H. Roberts, Peter Ross, C. T. Uhl- 
man, W. M. Wallace, E. M. Beach. No. 2 — Captain, A. U. 
Mills; assistant, George Powell; E. O. Fulmer, Jos. Fernandez, 
A. F. Hoska, L. Kline, O. Macy, Charles McAtee, C. E. IMarble, 
C. A. Packscher, S. A. Prindler, Mike Swamp, W. A. Tracy, 
A. E. Wilson, Frank Wilson. 










The small boys on the hill also had their volunteer fire depart- 
ment. They called themselves "The Bumble Bees," and they had 
some home-made apjiaratus at Fifteenth and South I streets. 
Some of the members were Joe Cloyd, Eddie Meath, B. Burn- 
ham, C. Burnham, Silas Patterson, W. Patterson, R. Nelson and 
O. Wasset. 

The spring- of '85 was unusual. No rain, with the exception 
of one light shower, fell between the first of IMarch and the middle 
of April. It recalled to some extent the long, dry summer of 
'83, when the brush was burned from what was to become a part 
of the residence district, and for many weeks the smoke hung low 
over the townsite. 

Sea-faring men were pleased when the contract was let for 
the light at Robinson's Point in the spring of '8.5. E. N. Fuller, 
who had been editor of the News since '82, resigned to become 
secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, where he indulged to his 
heart's content a predilection for statistics. William Bradley 
sold the Halstead House and joined John Watson in the flour 
mill enterprise, and a few days later while digging on the mill 
site at the head of the bay he unearthed an Indian mortar, made 
of blue granite, and weighing about five pounds. The city was 
building a 340-foot bridge across Galliher Gulch on Pacific Ave- 
nue, this being made necessary by the sale of the Land Company's 
First Addition and the building of several homes below the gulch. 
JNIichael Shea had given the southern movement an impetus when 
he erected a business building at Pacific and Puyallup avenues. 
For some time its second story served the locality as a schoolroom 
while the first floor housed a saloon. Peritz & Co. opened a large 
store in the Kandle & Wilkeson Building, just completed at Thir- 
teenth and Pacific Avenue. W. D. Tyler, who was East, wired 
the good news from Philadelphia that the directors of the North- 
ern Pacific had authorized the letting of a contract for the Cascade 
tunnel. Custer Post, G. A. R., made a gala day of the visit of 
Grand Commander John S. Kuntz, April 27, and among those 
who attended was the widow of General Custer, after whom tlie 
Post had been named. She was then traveling in the Northwest. 
Fred Taylor, then thirty-six years of age, and one of the young- 
est soldiers in the Civil war, was commander of the Post. 


May 2 the Driving Club held its spring races, among the 
horses being "Walter" and "Selim," owned by Isaac W. Ander- 
son, who was the head of the club; "Girl," owned by J, N. Fuller; 
"Governor," owned by George Kandle, and "Stranger," owned 
by Byron Barlow. Races were run frequently and large crowds 

The new water company was about ready to begin serving the 
public and 3.000,000 gallons of water was flowing through the 
flume from Spanaway Lake and Clover Creek. John E. Burns 
was endeavorini*- to nersuade the council to ffrant to him a definite 
franchise. He said he had invested about $10,000 in his little 
plant though his rights were uncertain. It was charged that he 
had become a member of the council some time before for the very 
purpose of getting his franchise, through, and it is a fact that he 
introduced his own ordinance. It met with disaster when 
Sprague and his associates proposed to give to the town a real 
water system. Biu'ns then resorted to tactics designed to com])el 
the Sprague company to buy him out and he exhibited about the 
streets a bottle of lizards and worms w^hich, he said, he had taken 
from the Spanaway Lake flume. His company at that time had 
a revenue of about $300 a month and was serving 392 persons. 
Burns Jiad made an eif ort to be reelected to the council in May of 
'85 but liad been defeated by E. G. Bacon. He made several 
rancorous speeches against the Cliinese but nevertheless employed 

Water was brought in April 2. A temporary supply had 
been procured in Galliher gulch, and the old pumping plant there, 
hid away behind the brewery and the overhanging trees of the 
gulch's steep sides, did valiant service until the Green River 
gravity system was completed. It w^as kept in reserve against 
emergencies until last spring. The first w^ater service w^as made 
Jan. 20, 188.5, to the Puget Sound Transfer Company, at 
Thirteenth Street and Pacific Avenue. 

It w^as not until August '85 that the water company's high 
service was ready. The setting of the Holly pump and Laf elle 
turbine was a heavy task. The wheel, running at full speed 
revolved 900 times a minute, but its ordinary speed was 300. The 
pump lifted 62,500 gallons an hour. The pressure in the mains 

The Hooil Street Reservoir 



was very satisfactory — at times too great. Henry Sutter and 
Samuel Brown were the operators of the pump. The reservoirs 
held 2,000,000 gallons. 

•Public finances were not in good order. The city was still 
owing a $4,000 debt incurred before the amalgamation of the two 
towns. The school fund was depleted owing to delinquent taxes 
and Central School had to be closed a month earlier than expected. 
At the closing exercises Arthur G. Prichard recited "Sheridan's 
Ride," and Walter Harvey, "The Foundry Fires." The first 
"high school" graduates were Fay Fuller, Angle Rice, Julia 
Smith, May Wilson, Aletha Morse, Ed Barlow, E. S. Greer, 
R. H. McLafferty and J. S. Murray. 

Hon. Jolm Sherman, Gen. Xelson ^Nliles, Charles Francis 
Adams and other notables were the guests of the city June 6, and 
were given a banquet at the Tacoma Plotel. At the banquet 
Adams told a storv on Seattle. He said that he was beino- shown 
over the city by the mayor whom he asked: "What is the death 
rate here?" "I don't know," replied the mayor, "But it's bigger 
than Tacoma's." 

The first state association here was formed by lowans June 13. 
B. ^V. Coiner called the meeting to order. Rev. J. A. Ward was 
made president; Rev. W. S. Taylor, vice president; H. L. Votaw, 
secretary; and JNIyron Ward, treasurer. J. M. Grant was making 
an effort to get a road opened to "Grant's Gardens," as a nursery 
of considerable size at S. Twelfth and Prospect was called. This 
nursery was handsomely kept and in spite of a wretched trail, 
was visited by many of the townspeople on Sundays. Grant had 
just dug a well 11.5 feet in depth. From its bottom there came a 
very strong current of air, but no water. 

John S. Baker was beginning to figure as a baseball magnate, 
though his team in the summer of '85 was defeated in most of its 
contests. A baseball park was being cleared in the Votaw addi- 
tion, and it was proposed to build a tight fence around it. This 
was the first attempt at making the game pay its way in Tacoma. 

The cornerstone of the Boys' College was laid July 1, 188.3. 
This institution was financed by Bishop Paddock and Charles B. 
Wright, Wrigiit agreeing to endow it with '$.50,000 as soon as tlie 
1)ui](ling Avas complete. Bisliop Paddock raised $12,500 in 


Tacoma and $12,500 outside. The structure was built on the 
square now occupied by the Central School, and in after years 
was bought by the city school board and used as a high school, its 
final service being that of a parental school. Its north and south 
wing were the same size — 32 by 55 feet ; these were connected by 
a center building 32 by 36; the west wing was 30 by 30. The 
building was of three stories and a basement, and was designed as 
a boarding school with kitchens, dining rooms, parlors, offices, 
class rooms, etc. Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., Stuart Rice, and 
Rev. L. A. Wells were named as the building committee, and 
J. R. Lomer was the contractor. The Masons laid the corner- 
stone, Hon. Elwood Evans and Walter J. Thompson filling the 
important posts on this occasion. Addresses were made by 
Rev. Mr. Parker, of Chehalis, Rev. J. A. Ward and Governor 

The summer of '84 had witnessed the passing of one of the 
few landmarks of '74. Fire had wiped out most of them but the 
"Collar, and Elbow" Hotel remained. It stood just north of 
where the Provident Building now stands and its correct name 
was the Washington Hotel. The property was owned by F. H. 
Harkins, of Seattle, who razed the building and constructed a 
one-story brick. 

The water company, finding its revenues not as large as it had 
hoped for, gave notice that rates would be increased to the old 
Burns rate, which had been based on the Portland rate. The 
water company, when it began, cut the Burns rate in half. The 
increase caused much criticism. The Tacoma Hotel, in order to 
be doubly safe from fire, prepared a 40,000-gallon cistern beneath 
the east veranda. 

On the day of General Grant's funeral, August 8, 1885, the 
town was in mourning and there was a parade through the busi- 
ness streets and to a pavillion at A and Ninth streets where an 
oration was delivered by Judge Theodore C. Sears. 

On the 13th, the first INIethodist conference was held in 
Tacoma, Bishop John JNI. Walden presiding. It was the second 
conference held in the territory. The bishop was trying to raise 
money for the church and W. H. Fife said he would be the tenth 
man to subscribe $50 to the fund. Bishop Walden remarked that 


It was sold to the city iu 1898 for $23,750. For years it was used as a liigli scliool, then as a 
parental school, and was torn down when the new Central School building was erected 

Built in 1883. Recently demolished 



if he owned a lot in flourishing young Tacoma he would be only 
too glad to help his city by subscribing to the fund. 

"Did you say that if you owned a lot you would give $50?" 
asked Fife. 

"Yes, sir," replied the bishoj). 

"Well, you come to my office at 9 in the morning and you shall 
have the lot," retorted Fife. 

"Put me down for $50," the bishop smilingly instructed the 

Fife deeded a $300 lot to him the next day. 

The Congregationalists, too, were making headway. April 
11, 1885, E. E. Oakley, Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy, William Ken- 
nedy, JNIrs. C. McFarlane, JNIrs. Goodwin and others had organ- 
ized a jNIission Sunday School of the Congregational Church in 
the house of ^Nlr. JNIurrav, on East E Street, and it was announced 
that four lots had been procured at East E and Twenty-eighth 
streets for church uses. There were but 18 houses in all this dis- 
trict, no street cars and few sidewalks. July 19, three months 
after tlie Sunday School was formed, "The East Congregational 
Church of Tacoma" was organized, Rev. S. H. Cheadle w-as called 
to the pulpit and a building costing $1,075 built. On the second 
anniversary of the Sunday School, while a children's program was 
being given, a hen from one of the numerous nearby chicken yards 
wandered into the church and flew up on the organ. When the 
ushers undertook to remove her, her flopping wings upset several 
flower vases and the water poured into the instrument, disabling 
it. Rev. Thomas Sims succeeded JNIr. Cheadle in 1889, but soon 
resigned to take tlie pulpit of the Atkinson ^Memorial Church, at 
N. Twelfth and J streets, where St. Patrick's Catholic Church 
now stands. This church was made possible by gifts of 
Rev. Dr. G. H. Atkinson, and one of the handsomest little churcli 
buildings Tacoma ever had was built there on designs prepared 
by Charles Tall)ott. The church was short-lived, however, and 
the real estate, wliich liad been dedicated to Protestant uses, after- 
ward ^^'ns ])ought by the Roman Catholics who built a handsome 
edifice of stone. The East Congregational Church erected a new 
building in 1890. \Vitli the coming of Rev. Dr. A. D. Shaw, an 
active and able man, this church became a new force in the com- 
niunitv and its influence is now citv wide. 


Snyder, Stevens & Co. were building a sawmill at the head of 
the bay. This firm was none other than John B. Stevens and 
John Snyder, then struggling for a foothold in the new town, 
both in overalls, working almost night and day to clear the site of 
timber and brush. Stevens has prospered in later years in a 
feed business extending over a wide territory. Sm^der is the head 
of the Tacoma Fir Door Company, with 125 employes. This 
concern was established in 1905. Snyder was the fir-door pioneer. 
Cedar had been used exclusively. Snyder discovered that by 
proper kiln-drying the fii- would not warp. He had difficulty in 
j)ersuading Eastern buyers, but his smile and his persistence won. 
Germania Hall, built by John Kley, was completed on C 
Street. C. A. Darmer, the architect, was president of the Ger- 
mania Society. He came to Tacoma in an early day and has been 
active in many directions for the city's welfare. This hall was 
a popular place for many years. In the course of the panic of 
the '90s it became enmeshed and its friends called upon Joshua 
Peirce for a $10,000 loan. He did not fancy the building alone as 
security, but said he would lend if ten substantial Germans signed 
the note. This was done. Later on, as the pressure increased, 
Peirce asked for additional security, and ten more good German 
names were added to the note. Of the twenty men just one, 
Anton Huth, was able to pay when the note fell due. 

A factional fight in the Baptist Church required the presence 
of INIarshal Fulmer. He took possession of the key of the build- 
ing after quieting the members who, at a meeting in the chin*ch 
fell into a violent quarrel in which Pastor B. S. MacLafferty was 
denounced as a despot and his followers as lickspittles. The 
quarrel grew until the local peacemakers gave up hope of ending 
it, and accordingly a council was called. Ministers from other 
places, including several from Oregon, came together in Tacoma, 
meeting in the basement of the Congregational Church. INIacLaf- 
ferty, who was accused of having arrogantly called to order two 
deacons while they were properly on their feet trying to address 
a Baptist assemblage, refused to attend the peace meeting. It 
was charged that he had caused the lights to be turned down while 
Mrs. McCracken was reading a petition signed by fourteen mem- 
bers of the church, and that he stamped his foot in anger while 



attempting to supi^ress some of the speakers. The conference of 
pacifiers determined the case by inviting Mr. JNIacLafFerty to seek 
other pastures, asserting that it was impossible for him to reunite 
his flock. 

Soon after this trouble Rev. ]Mr. INIacLafl'erty fell into an 
excavation that had been left unguarded in C Street, just below 
Ninth, and was terribly injured. He brought suit against the 
city, alleging that the walk at the danger point was not sufficiently 
guarded. The opposition that arose amounted almost to perse- 
cution. The minister was charged with simulating pain. Brought 
into court on a cot, it was declared that he could walk if he would. 
There entered into the case some of the animosities that had 
germinated in the church squabble. But the chief reason for 
public resentment might have been found in a quite general 
opinion that no citizen should attempt to mulct the city treasury; 
that was an attack on the taxpayers. The jury found for the 
city. Changed opinion has been so marked that a case of that 
kind now is regarded as a just exercise of one's rights, and the 
public instead of resenting, rather shows an affirmative interest 
in a proceeding in "damages that may take money from the city 
treasury. After losing his case jNIacLafferty still lay on his 
back and he never recovered from his hurts. Later on public 
feeling became mollified and he was appointed city librarian. 

Charles Enell, the brick maker, built a dancing pavilion and 
skating floor, and the steamer Del jNIonte carried townspeople to 
"Enell's Grove" for 50 cents. "Enell's Grove" was where the 
Smelter now stands. Enell had a brickyard there. On summer 
Sundays there were roller-skating exhibitions, fancy dancing and 
other entertainment features. Enell was not the first brick maker 
on the townsite, Capt. John E. Burns and Philip INIetzler having 
burned a kiln some time before on lots 9 and 10, block 1203. 
These brick were used by John Carson in the construction of a 
building in block 1303. The brick were not first class. Some 
attril)uted their frailty to the clay while others criticized the 

The first cargo of tea to Tacoma came August 8, 188.5, on the 
bark Isabel, Capt. James Howe. It consisted of 22,475 cases. 


Taconia banners adorned the cars that carried it East and the 
press of the country was pretty well full of the matter. Other 
tea ships came apace. Trade with the Orient was becoming a 
gratifying reality. 







"new ERA brotherhood" MAYOR CALLS MASS MEETING — - 











The first question discussed at the first meeting of the first 
literary society in Tacoma was the Chinese menace. This was 
January 25, 1878. The question was: "Resolved, That Chinese 
immigration has been an injury to the United States," W. J. 
Fife, W. H. Leeds, and Francis H. Cook upheld the affirmative 
and INIr. Young, W. E. Dingee and J. S. Howell, the negative. 
The affirmative won. It always did. A few days before that a 
Chinaman had been stoned by boys as he walked through the 
streets. From the first day of his coming "John" had been 
regarded as a fair target for youth's raillery and sometimes its 
dornicks, and the elders, wherever they gatliered, debated the 
"yellow peril." It M^as the question uppermost and had been 
almost from the eclio of the first Cliinese footfall in the town in 



'73. The first Chinese laundrynian here was Lung Fat, a man 
of rather unusual acumen, and his coming was by no means unwel- 
come to that part of the population which had had difficulty in 
finding laundresses. The low charges made by the Chinese laun- 
drymen always were attractive to housewives, the price being Jo 
cents "for as much as you could cram in the bag." 

The first Chinaman reached the Pacific Coast in 1847. He 
was Chum Wing, an intelligent and industrious merchant, and he 
went into the hills of California in search of gold, which he found, 
and the intelligence, at once carried back to China, precipitated 
the yellow flood. Railroad building increased it. It has been said 
that the transcontinental railroads never could have been built 
without coolie labor. All of the roads, with the exception of tlie 
Chicago, jNIilwaukee & St. Paul had to emjijloy Chinese. When 
the Xorthern Pacific road was built into Tacoma the Chinese came 
with it. They increased in numbers as the village grew. In the 
early '80s white labor began to be heard in earnest. Califofnia 
had set a riotous pace. In Tacoma idle men who wanted work 
reviled and hated the yellow competitor who had employment 
when he wanted it, because he labored for a less wage and was 
more servile. 

Yet, even among the whites who wanted work, there was 
developing an inclination to regard as menial anything that a 
Chinaman could do. Honest labor, in short, was losing its 
dignity. White women disliked to take employment as maids, 
because it put them in a class with the Chinese. A servant class, 
or a menial class, was being developed, and this was the really 
serious aspect of the Chinese problem, and it could be cured only 
by ousting the Chinese. The cure came with that drastic remedy. 

While the reason for the desire to get rid of the Chinese was 
chiefly economic, there were other causes. The peculiarities of 
the Heathen Chinee grated upon white sensibilities. His manner 
of living — it was said that if he made $1 a day he saved 90 cents: 
his houses were crowded like hutches; his intimacies with his live- 
stock, his strange cooking, his refusal to progress in American 
ways and use his money in forwarding the community's interest 
instead of sending it back to China, and now and then an exhibi- 
tion of oriental brutalities — all of these factors figiu'ed in the 


deteriiiinatioii to put him out of the countiy. The Chinese were 
said to be nearly 2,500 strong in the county, but that estimate was 
far too high. Probably there were not 1,000. Some were farm- 
ing on their own accounts; many were employed on the farms and 
in the mills. Perhaps 700 lived in Tacoma, operating laundries, 
conducting little stores, performing domestic work in private 
homes, serving in the hotels and restaurants, and working in the 
mills. Several of them conducted gardens. One of the best of 
these gardens Avas on the present site of Rhodes Bros, store, 
where, years before, W. H. Fife had jilanted an orchard. 
There were others on Broadway, and a short distance up St. 
Helens Avenue. 

Kindly disposed persons endeavored to lead the Chinese in tlie 
way of Christianity, and in a very few cases with seeming success. 
Numbers of them attended the Protestant churches, though they 
had three Joss houses of their own in wiiich they worshipped tlieir 
brazen idols. Several of them w^ere in the Sunday School classes. 
Two or three women conducted classes in their homes for the 
benefit of the celestials. jNIrs. George Gibbs tells of an evening- 
call she and her mother, JNIrs. John Hill, made on JNIrs. Taylor, 
who lived in one of the little houses which until recent years stood 
in the southwest corner of Wright Park. JNIrs. Taylor frequently 
had Chinese at her home, teaching them the Scripture and the 
rudiments of English. When JNIrs. Gibbs and her mother 
approached the house, they saw in the lighted room the gathering 
of Chinese, and they also saw JNIrs. Taylor, who was working at 
a table, probably arrangiiig the lesson, witli her back to lier 
i^upils. They were shaking their fists at her and making hideous 
grimaces; but the moment she turned toward them they were all 
smiles and gracious enough. 

The indifference of the Chinaman to human suffering, even 
when their own were the sufferers, was a contributing factor to 
the growing hatred of them. A case in point: Peter Reilly, for 
many years section foreman, was w^orking a crew of Cliinese in 
the raili'oad yards, when one of tliem fell in the way of a train and 
his leg was badly mashed. His fellows refused to go near him. 
Reilly, a giant in strength, seized a club, and compelled his ccjolies 
to lift the mangled man from the track, and he was started for 


the hospital on Pat O'Neal's dray. The Chinese performed tliis 
service with abhorrence. Nor were they in the least excited or 
grieved when the horse ran away, dumping the poor Chinaman 
into the street, hastening his death. 

By many of the residents the Chinese w ere feared. ' There 
were stories of women having been attacked, and now and then 
the rej^ort was spread that the Chinese, w^io at one time were 
almost equal in numerical strength to the whites, were planning a 
wholesale massacre. As a matter of fact, however, the Chinese, 
were a peaceable lot, and while they did ridicule and no doubt 
hate the white to his back, quite as sharply as tlie white hated and 
ridiculed the Chinaman to his back, they were peaceable and for- 
bearing, and in some instances true friends to the whites, exhibit- 
ing their warmth of feeling with fine gifts and in a hundred other 
ways. But it was the old, old story of attempting to amalgamate 
two widely separated and antagonistic civilizations, and one occur- 
rence after another widened the chasm. Around and beneath 
their shacks they kept pigs, chickens, ducks and geese, numerous 
cats, a dog or so, pigeons and other animals. Perhaps John par- 
tially compensated for his presence by his skill as a scavenger in 
a day when sewers were scarce. Morning and evening the Chi- 
nese climbed the hill from the waterfront and wxnt to the res- 
taurants and residents in search of slops for their pigs. These 
they carried, two buckets at a time, at the ends of a pole, Chinese 
fashion. One of the favorite jokes of the small boy of the period 
was to stretch a wire to tangle the feet of Chinamen homeward 
bound with liquid fodder, and there were ludicrous plunges and 
nauseating baths. An ordinance finally was passed excluding 
the slop-carriers from the sidewalks. 

One of the incidents that aroused public ire, and no doubt con- 
tributed to the increasing determination finally to clean out the 
Chinese, was a hog killing. The first act of the Chinese butchers 
was to cut out the animal's tongue, to prevent squealing. Then 
the tortured bi-ute was thoroughly scalded and the scraping began. 
It still was alive and kicking in spite of the thongs with which it 
was bound, when its legs were cut off. The spectacle thorouglily 
enraged the whites who saw it, and its horrors were not diminished 
in the telling. 


The first meeting called to discuss the expulsion of the Chinese 
was held in the rooms above Weisbach's grocery store, Weisbach 
and three or four others being the fathers of the enterprise. The 
success of the movements undertaken in other localities to oust 
the Orientals was discussed. At this gathering were eight or 
nine men, among them William Christie, who had lived in 
Eureka, Cal., when the citizens rose against the Chinese. Christie 
described the methods. It was then resolved to call a mass meet- 
ing, and present the situation squarely before Tacoma citizens, 
and suggest plans for ridding the community of the objection- 

The question quickly became a political one. Before the mass 
meeting could be called the Carpenters' Union came into being. 
At the first meeting of the carpenters D. A. JNIitchell presided, 
and a committee consisting of M. Grady, A. U. JNIills, W. T. 
Triplett, J. J. jNIcLaughlin, D. A. JNIitchell, J. H. Lotz, J. A. 
Budlong, R. Mabey and A. Reduenzel, was appointed to draft 
plans for the organization. At a later meeting jNIitchell was 
made president and the organization was launched with forty-one 
members. This union was formed by Harrv B. Standerwick, 
a Ledger reporter, who thought he saw in it a source of news and 
perhaps a political tool, and he was not without a sense of humor. 
Standerwick seems to have gone about this without the knowledge 
of his em23loyer, and certainly with no selfish motives, other than 
any live reporter seeking to create sources of news, might have. 
He was not a candidate for office and he asked no favors of the 
union. His hope that it would start something in a field in which 
news was scarce, soon materialized. At one of its first meetings, 
March 6, 1884, the Union took up the Chinese question. This 
was in form of a resolution condemning Councilman John E. 
Burns for employing Chinese. He discharged them and em- 
ployed Indians, and failing to procin-e efficiency he discharged 
them and he and his partner, INIetzler, took up pick and shovel. 
Soon after this 31. H. O'Connor called a mass meeting of all 
workers, which speedily was held, with nearly one hundred ])ersons 
present. At that meeting the AVorkingmcn's Union was formed. 
Jacob Ralph, the big-footed German blacksmith, was offered tlie 
presidency, but refused it. E. C. Sherman was elected. J. G. 


O. jMeyers was made vice-j^resident, T. S. Gilbert, secretary; A. 
S. Bailey, treasurer; Thomas Early, sergeaht-at-arms. About 
twenty men signed the roll of membership at this meeting. The 
next day there aj^peared in the newspapers a letter from 
O'Connor denying that he had been connected in any way with 
a gang of dynamiters who had tried to blow up the govern- 
ment buildings at Victoria. At a later meeting Dennis Xearney 
attempted to seize the office of president. He failed but he had 
a considerable voice in affairs for a time. 

Nearney was a firebrand and a dangerous man. He occupied 
a shack on tlie waterfront, on railroad property, and undertook to 
resist the authority of the company, when it had decided to 
remove his house. He threatened to kill Otis Sprague and 
others connected with the company. On two occasions when 
the company's pile-driver was moved up to the shack to pull it 
down, it was found that Xearney had left his little children there 
in order to prevent attack, and on the occasion of the pile-driver's 
second visit Xearney's little son appeared at the door with a rifle, 
threatening to shoot. Sprague and others disarmed the 
struggling lad. and Nearney then sought to have them 
arrested for assault. He was in court a time or two for abusing 
his own children and finally was haled up by his wife, who also 
alleged brutalities. He threatened to blow up the residence 
of Otis Sprague, compelling Sprague to surround his home with 
detectives. Xearney is believed to have had a hand in the 
notorious sand-lot riots in San Francisco, and he boasted that he 
was not a man to hesitate at any forcible act, if it pleased his 
purpose. Another fire-eater who often became vociferous when 
the Chinese question w^as mentioned was INIike Ward, whose chief 
fame lay in his ability to bite a piece out of a whiskey glass, whicli 
he frequently did, to the consternation of those not acquainted 
with his habit, but never apparently to his own hurt. 

In 1884 there was organized over the country what "INIike" 
O'Connor called the X^ew "Area." The Xew Era Brotherhood 
was the alluring name of a political movement whose announced 
aim was the reformation of politics, and its headquarters were 
in Bloomington, 111. INIayor Weisbach was the head of the 
organization in Tacoma. Its first political foray locally landed 


A Leader in the Anti-Chinese Crusade 


AVilliani Christie on the school board, and jNI. P. Bulger, also a 
member of the "New Era" later was made clerk. The organ- 
ization had four lodges on the coast — in San Francisco, Port- 
land, Tacoma and Seattle. Its operations were secret. Its 
thirty-five members usually met in the office of Mayor Weisbach. 
New members were chosen by ballot. While it did not last long, 
it is important as the forerunner of the Knights of Labor and it 
did have an important share in the ousting of the Chinese. 

The discussion of the question was constant, and it figiu'ed 
in all 2)olitical calculations, and in many business and social affairs. 
February 20, 1885, Mayor Weisbach called a mass meeting in 
response to a petition signed by F. Tarbell, Peter Irving, T. L. 
Nixon, C. S. Barlow, Stuart Rice, John jNIacready, G. R. Delprat, 
Harry Baehr, E. von Schrader, Philip INIetzler, R. H. Wilkinson, 
Rev. J. F. DeVore, H. S. Bixler, Robert Wingate, Jacob Ralph, 
J. S. Howell, William Robertson, William Bradlev, W. P. 
Bonney, T. B. Wallace, Jr., Aug. F. Plate, F. Wolland, Walter 
J. Thompson, S. F. Sahm, L. L. Bowers, Chas. Gloeckler, Carl 
J, Heller and others. They desired to find "an effective and 
proper method" of getting rid of the Chinese. This group of 
men represented the more orderly element. They wished to oust 
the Chinese but they opposed the drastic means suggested by the 
more rabid. The meeting was held. It was resolved that the 
Chinese be excluded and a committee of three was named from 
each ward to suggest a definite plan. 

Three days later a mass meeting called by the Law and Order 
League was held, with Judge Hamilton as chairman and JNI. L. 
Sanders as secretary. David Lister, A. S. Abernethy, Jr., Rev. 
J. R. Thompson, J. A. Banfield, Rev. J. A. Ward and otliers 
spoke. It was apparent that the antipathies of this meeting 
were directed more at the immoralities of tlie whites than at the 
presence of the Cliinese. The charge was made that the Law 
and Order I^eague really was the creation of the "American INIan- 
darins," who desired the Chinese to remain, and tliat the purpose 
of the league was to serve as a distraction from tlie main idea. 
Rev. INIr. Thompson introduced resolutions denouncing the in- 
creasing domination of the vicious element and declared tliat "if 
the Cliinese must go, so also must tlie saloon and brothel obey 

Vol. 1—23 


the law." Rev. J. A. Banfield presented another set of resolu- 
tions dej)loring the invasion of the best business blocks by the 
Chinese and asking the city officials to abate the Chinese places 
by declaring them to be nuisances. A communication from Jacob 
Weisbach was read. It is said in part: "Today. the fight for 
existence is the fight between jNIongolian laborers and a few own- 
ers of real estate, but twenty years hence the lords who sowed the 
cadmus teeth will reap their dragon harvest." 

A night or two later a band of boys and men stoned the 
Chinese houses along the waterfront. 

Another committee consisting of jNIessrs. Ralph, Spinning 
and Christie was designated to have citizens sign agreements not 
to sell or lease to Chinese and not to employ them. A commit- 
tee consisting of ^Messrs. Weisbach, Ward and Radebaugh was 
appointed to make a careful report on the Chinese habits of 
living. John Arthur, John S. Baker and T. B. Wallace peti- 
tiond the council to abate, as a nuisance, a Chinese washhouse on 
the southwest corner of A and Xinth streets. Its malodorous 
suds disturbed the guests of the Tacoma Hotel. The members 
of the Tacoma Guard became interested in cleansing this neigh- 
borhood as they w^ere just then bringing about the grading and 
seeding of what is now Fireman's Park. They desired this plot 
as a parade ground. 

It was discovered that a number of Chinese shacks occupied 
the public highways, a glaring example being in Steele Street, 
Old Tacoma, where, a few years before a Chinaman had bouglit 
a garden in good faith for $100, and he had sold it to another 
Chinaman for $300. The council gave this Chinaman until the 
following X'ovember to vacate. The Chinese did not help their 
situation when a few of them hanged their foreman, on the Byron 
Young farm, near Sumner, he having offended them. 

William Christie brought forward a project that interested a 
large number. He proposed the formation of an anti-Chinese 
committee, embracing every citizen who desired the Chinese 
removed. He thought that the opening of an intelligence office, 
with a free reading room, and a general gathering place w^as 
desirable, and he thereupon called a public meeting. Before this 
M'as held another movement was begun by a gathering in the 


offices of Carroll & Coiner, or rather in a little, dark, inside 
room which they had rented to J. A. Budlong. After he had 
given it up Carroll & Coiner found in it a great amount of lurid 
anarchistic literature, printed on white, red and yellow paper. 
These colors figured in a secret organization which had been 
formed. Budlong had conducted himself so quietly while in his 
office that neither Carroll nor Coiner ever had suspected him even 
of nursing anarchistic thoughts. 

It was quite generally believed that the city council might 
have rid the community of most of the Chinese had it adopted 
the plan of declaring the washhouses, etc., to be nuisances. An- 
other element believed that if laundering w^ere undertaken by 
whites, the Chinese would depart. The Tacoma Hotel put in a 
laundry, employing white women. An attempt was made to 
finance a steam laundry on a large scale. It failed. It was said 
that the Chinese washhouses w^ere then collecting about thirty- 
nine thousand dollars a year. 

A pathetic appeal, published in the papers and signed by Un 
Gow and jNIark Ten Suie, Christian Chinese, further aroused the 
pro-Chinese element, though it was derided by the opposite ele- 
ment which retorted that a Christianized Chinaman was a 

As one antagonistic measure the council passed an ordinance 
providing that no sleeping room for one person should contain 
less than .500 cubic feet and several Chinese w^ere arrested for 
violating it. But it was found, when the Weisbach-Radebaugh- 
Ward committee made its report June 3d, that the ordinance had 
not by any means been enforced. This report nauseated the 
community, even as the investigation upon which it was made 
nauseated the committee. Weisbach and Ward said they both 
had been made ill by visiting a few^ of the Chinese houses. Rade- 
l)augli had not accompanied them. The report described a hor- 
rible disregard of sewer arrangements. ]Men, women and chil- 
dren were packed away in unlighted and wholly unventilated 
rooms, in whicli bunks were built from floor to ceiling. On the 
walls and from the ceilings hung dried fish and otlier meats wliicli 
gave the rooms the odor of carrion. Beneath several of the Chi- 
nese buildings were stinking pools of water. In the washhouses 


the committee fomid the dainty garments of white women being- 
puddled around in suds that reeked with dirt. The smell of 
smoking opium was everywhere. The washhouses used no 
machinery. The Chinese laundryman's method was to pull a 
garment from the boiling vat, beat it over a block, rinse it indif- 
ferently and in water not often changed, and trust to the iron to 
give it the semblance of cleanliness. All this and more was 
described in the report, which was read to a mass meeting in the 
Alpha OjDera House, with Beverly W. Coiner presiding. The 
only commendable phase in the Chinese situation, according to the 
report, was the 3Iethodist ^Mission School, on C Street, above 
Ninth, which was managed by ^lark Ten Suie. It had twenty- 
two pupils, and was clean and bright. 

The report, ex parte, and x^erhaps exaggerated, furthered the 
formation of the anti-Chinese League, and at a mass meeting- 
June 9th, at which Coiner again presided and ^I. P. Bulger served 
as secretary, the league formally was established with Jacob 
Weisbach president; B. W. Coiner, first vice president; jNI. P. 
Bulger, secretary, and seventy-six persons on the membership 

The Knights of Labor organized in Tacoma September 7th, 
D. Cronin, of Seattle, presiding. Judge Good of New Jersey, 
and ]Mrs. Brown were speakers and ^Nlayor Weisbach honored the 
meeting with his presence and a short address. Sixty names were 
signed to the roll. In a short time its membership was counted 
by the hundred. Lawyers and saloonkeepers were not admitted, 
but by some means one lawyer slipped in — Charles Vorhees, dele- 
gate to Congress. He was suspended by telegraphic order from 
the home office, on appeal from the Tacoma body. The Tacoma 
Kniohts Lodoe had its hall above the Gross store, and all sorts 
of stories were abroad concerning its purposes. It was believed 
by some that the order was preparing a countrywide revolution. 
It was reported that weapons in large numbers had been gathered 
in the hall, and there were stories of nightly drills and murderous 
conspiracies. These reports became so alarming that some of the 
moneyed interests hired detectives, who became members of the 
organization, and thereafter all its doings were the subject of 
daily reports. 


Among those who hated the Chinese and the capitalistic classes 
about equally was the captain of the Queen of the Pacific, and it 
is said that he actually undertook to organize an attack on the 
town, his belief being that with the old brass cannon which his 
ship carried he could command the community resources, banks, 
moneys and all, and get awav to sea without difficulty. 

About this time the agitation against the Chinese grew intense 
in Wyoming and hundreds of them were driven out. In all of 
the communities near Tacoma feeling had begun to run high 
and in some of the towns the Chinese departed under threats. In 
the Squak Valley Wald Bros, employed about one hundred for 
liop picking. One midnight a mob of Indians and whites crept 
up to the camp and began shooting. Three Chinese were killed 
and four wounded. The guilty never were punished, though 
several arrests were made. At Coal River a mob burned the 
Chinese out. These acts served to inflame the anti-Chinese ele- 
ment in Tacoma. 

A statewide congress was called to meet in Seattle September 
28, and a meeting w^as held in Tacoma September 2.5 to elect dele- 
gates. Jacob Weisbach received 16.3 votes, A. ^Nlacready, 138, 
and A. U. JNIills, 109. They were the representatives of the city. 
The Knights of Labor chose H. A. Stevens, Wm. Christie and 
• Frank jNIcGill; the Independent Labor party, W. B. Sweeney, 
E. G. Bacon, Jacob Ralph, Chas. Kennedy, Charles Seyntour 
and Howard Carr; the Tacoma Fire Department, John Forbes 
and Oscar iNIacy; The Germania Society, F. Lustoff ; the Tj^po- 
graphical Union, Geo. W. Alexander and D. A. jNIaulsby; the 
Tacoma Turn-Verein, Henry Nevman; the Xew Era Brother- 
hood. :M. p. Bulger, M. C. Gillis and M. F. Brown; the Inde- 
pendent Carpenters' Association, H. S. Bixler and G. A. Smith. 
When the Tacoma delegates reached Seattle they were met at the 
wharf by an immense torchlight procession and a brass band. 
The torchbearers formed a double line of fire through which the 
Tacomans marched, and ]Mayor Weisbach was called u])on for a 
speech. The Tacoma party was amazed at the cordiality of the 
reception as the feeling between the rival towns had grown so 
bitter that a friendly greeting even on an occasion like this, was 
by no means expected. 


The Seattle meeting was attended by an immense crowd. 
Mayor Weisbach was made president. It heard a number oi' 
speeches and then adopted resolutions directing the delegates to 
return to their homes and call local mass meetings October 3 to 
name committees for the duty of notifying the Chinese to depart 
November 1. It also adopted resolutions condemning the West- 
ern Washington Congregational Association for asking for the 
unconditional rejjeal of the Chinese restriction act, and asking- 
all employers of Chinese immediately to dismiss them. Obe- 
dience to this order began at once and many Chinese lost their 
employment. The hotels and restaurants in Tacoma, the Hanson 
mill and other institutions complied, and several farmers u]) the 
valley did likewise. An exception was H. S. Farquharson, of 
the barrel factory in Puyallup. He defied a mob with loaded 
revolvers, but in the end sent away his Chinese, but not until a 
•bomb had been exploded beneath his building. 

The Knights of Labor adopted resolutions deploring threats 
of violence against the Chinese. The Chinese became alarmed 
and their departure from the city began. JNIany of them had. 
personal proj^erty and they sent Sun Chong to consult Deputy 
Prosecuting Attorney E. W. Taylor and flavor Weisbach. The 
messenger said the Chinese were willing to go but they desired 
compensation for their belongings. He tliouglit $2, .500 would 
satisfy them and the mayor thouglit the council might arrange for 
the money. However he found this to be impracticable and 
before the negotiation went furtlier it was discovered that Sun 
Chong did not speak for all of the orientals. 

A torch light procession with pyrotechnics and bonfires pre- 
ceded the mass meeting October 3 in the Alpha Opera House. 
About five hundred men were in line, carrying banners and trans- 
parencies. Col. J. IM. Steele was made chairman, Doctor Taylor 
of Sumner, A. U. JNIills, J. E. Burns and others spoke, and reso- 
lutions were adopted calling for the appointment of a Committee 
of Fifteen, whose duty it should be to carry the ousting program 
to an issue. The resolutions embodied the names of the follow- 
ing fifteen: Samuel Wilkeson, Jr., S. M. Nolan, INIeyer Kauf- 
man, Fred T. Olds, Fred Sahms. J. V. Chamberlain, M. F. 
Brown, J. A. McGouldrick, John Fuller, Jacob Ralph, W. D. 


Christie, A. U. jNIills, and John Forbes. The crowd adopted tlie 
idea but not the nominations in toto. Objections were raised 
against some of them and nominations were made from the 
floor. The committee as finally formed embraced Judge James 
Wickersham, D. B. Hannah, E. G. Bacon, Jacob Ralph, JM. F. 
Brown, Fred Johnson, H. A. Stevens, H. C. Patrick, Meyer 
Kaufman, H. S. Bixler, William Christie, J. P. Chilberg, A. U. 
JNIills, John Forbes and John JNIcGouldrick. On the day before 
the final drive Chilberg lost heart in the enterprise and J. A. 
Budlong was put in his place. 

The attitude of the Chamber of Commerce was awaited with 
interest. Its members had been quarreling over the question. 
John Arthur and General Sprague had locked horns several 
times. Sprague, I. W. Anderson, and others among its leaders 
were opposed to the proposed drive. Three sets of resolutions 
were presented at a special meeting called at the Tacoma Hotel 
to discuss the question. George Fuller's opposed the Chinese, 
but they also opposed coercion; Ezra jMeeker's also opposed coer- 
cion and carried some reflections on the activities of Mayor Weis- 
bach; J. E. Burns' resolutions deplored the oriental menace, 
blamed the poor governmental guardianship of the border, by 
which the Chinese were enabled to cross in great numbers, called 
upon the President of the United States to place a sufiicient force 
there to stop the continual violation of law, and then approved 
the resolutions which recently had been adopted by the Work- 
ingmen's Union in all except any contemplation of violent meas- 
ures. There was a vigorous debate in which personalities entered, 
but the vote was 41 to 22 in favor of the Burns resolutions. 

Ezra Meeker had been taking a prominent part against the 
anti-Chinese agitation. He wrote many letters to the news- 
papers urging obedience to the law. Finally a friend of the 
anti-Chinese movement retorted with the interrogation whether 
Meeker was obeying the law when he assisted in estalilisliing a 
"shotgun (juarantine" against Tacoma in the course of the small- 
pox epidemic in 1881. 

John Arthur made an acidulous speech at tlie Chamber of 
Commerce meeting, in the course of which he bitterly attacked 
General Sprague and Geo. E. Atkinson. He said the time had 


come when Sprague no longer could run the city. He declared 
that the Chinese already would have heen gone but for encourage- 
ment given them by Sprague who, he said, had assured them of 
the protection of federal troops. Sprague made no reply, but 
after the meeting he, Atkinson and Anderson met Arthur in the 
lobby and gave him an unmerciful tongue lashing, to which 
Arthur made rej^ly in kind, denouncing them as cowards for not 
speaking in open meeting. 

This vote of the chamber sounded the doom of the Chinese. 
It also acted as a brake upon the radicals. The chamber was 
a powerful institution, its membership including 150 of the 
strongest men in the city. October 10th there was another torch- 
light j^rocession and meeting in the Alj^ha Opera House. J. E. 
Burns was chairman. Jolin C. Comerford, who until a few daj'S 
before had been editor of the Ledger, John Arthur and Alex. 
Parker were the orators. Arthur's bitter attacks on the Land 
Company, the railroad company and the ring of interests which 
naturally grew up around institutions of such strength arose per- 
haps from two causes. He had been brought west by the Land 
Company to be its attorney. He was related by marriage to one 
of the eastern men connected with the Land Company. He and 
I. W. Anderson, then manager of the company, did not agree 
and Artliur's connection ceased. From a pecuniary standpoint 
this was unpleasant to Arthiu-, and perhaps it rankled. What- 
ever effect it may liave had on his attitude toward the interests it 
must be said that Arthur belonged then, as he belongs now, to that 
class which resents control by money, and probably he was happier 
out of the Land Company than in it as the severance gave to him 
the freedom that he enjoys. His brilliant intellect — for years 
one of the state's prized ornaments — reflects the passion for free- 
dom which one so frequently finds in sons of the Old Sod. 

Radebaugh, editor of the Ledger, was in the East, and Comer- 
ford — known about the office as "Jim- Jams Jack" — was in 
charge. He had been writing more vigorously than Radebaugh 
had instructed, and Sprague, Blackwell, Anderson and Tyler 
called on him, cautioning him to be more temperate, or else he 
certainly would lose his head. Instead Comerford directed a 
blast at them the following day, denouncing "dog salmon aris- 


tocracy" and defying them. When Radehaugh returned a few 
days later he was informed bv the anti-Chinese leaders that if he 
discharged Comerford the Ledger would be bo^^cotted by the 
business community. He was resolved, however, to procure 
Comerford's resignation which he speedily did by informing the 
foreman of the office, D. A. ^Nlaulsby, to throw out anything 
that Comerford prepared for publication. Comerford was 
proud. He at once realized his position and handed in his resig- 
nation. He was an orator of considerable power, an interesting- 
writer, and in appearance he resembled John Wilkes Booth, and 
when on the evening of October 10th, he rose before a great 
audience in the opera house, and proceeded to flay Sprague, 
Blackwell, Anderson, Radebaugh, and the rest, he was given an 
ovation. He revealed what he declared were certain secrets con- 
cerning Radebaugh's management of the Ledger and thereby 
sacrificed the good opinion of many of the business men, as his 
"confessions" put him in the light of a traitor, w^hether they were 
true or not. A week later John Arthur presided at another 
enthusiastic meeting. 

The Presbyterian minister was Rev. W. D. iNIcFarland, born 
a Scot, but a naturalized American with very firm ideas about 
the rights and duties of an American citizen. Spies had been 
around his house several nights and one day in his absence three 
men called and demanded to know of those at home if any Chi- 
nese M^ere employed, and if so, ordering them to be disposed of, 
and giving instructions that if any contracts had been entered into 
for Chinese help, such contracts must be abrogated. The min- 
ister was on fire when he reached home and heard what had trans- 
pired and he announced that on the following Sunday evening 
he would preach on the Chinese question. He had a habit, when 
opening his sermons, of twirling in his fingers a tiny roll of 
I^aper. He stepped to the side of his pulpit stand, nervously 
fingering a slip of paper, and began by describing the visit that 
had been made to his home, denounced it as an insolent attempt 
at abridgment of an American's riglits, and then began some- 
what heatedly to tell what he would have done liad he been at 
home when the three men called, and concluded with the ejacula- 
tion : "T would liave kicked them out into the street." 


His sermon so angered T. L. Nixon and others that they 
walked out of the church. Nixon was a ]3rominent member. Mc- 
Farland shouted after them: "Go! Go! I will preach on till the 
benches are empty!" 

Threats were carried to him after that. His gorge then rose 
indeed. Capt. Albert W. Whyte had been furnished by the 
authorities with two boxes of revolvers. Rev. Mr. JMcFarland 
went to Whyte's office and asked him if he — the minister — should 
arm himself. Whyte told him it might be wise to do so. 

"Where can I get a revolver?" he asked Captain Whyte. The 
captain drew aside a curtain showing the two boxes of revolvers. 

"May I have one?" eagerly asked the minister. 

"You may have two," was the reply. 

McFarland took two and strapped them about his waist. 
Thus he was caparisoned for emergencies for several days, and 
it probably was the only time in the city's history that a minister 
went about his pastoral duties, visiting business men in their 
homes and taking tea with his feminine ^parishioners with a brace 
of big army revolvers strapped beneath his Prince Albert. 

Ever}^ line of business was affected more or less by the feeling 
over the question. W. D. Tyler, of the Tacoma Hotel, was 
much opposed to coercion, and there was talk of boycotting the 
hotel. The Tacoma National Bank, the officers of which were 
Sprague, Blackwell, Anderson and others who opposed the Chi- 
nese drive, felt its position quite keenly as considerable sums of 
money were withdrawn. For a few days the bank kept three 
boxes of coins out where"" it was hoped a view of them would 
convince the public of the bank's solidity. "Skookum" Smith, 
who did not favor the drive, was with the Merchants' National, 
M^hich brought that bank under some criticism, though Walter J. 
Thompson, Henry Drum and W. H. Opie, its active officers, were 
opposed to the Chinese. The Seattle papers reported a run of 
$60,000 on General Sprague's Tacoma National Bank one day, 
but that was an exaggeration. But for several days the situation 
was dangerous. 

One day eight Chinese entered the bank of which Walter J. 
Thompson was president and deposited about eight hundred 
dollars, taking a certificate of deposit. They then entered 


Thompson's private office where the certificate was torn into eight 
pieces. It was explained that each Chinaman would take a frag- 
ment of the certificate, and that the money must not he paid out 
until the certificate should be returned to the hank intact. Some 
months later it came from San Francisco, carefully put together, 
and the money was forwarded. 

Governor Squire was watching the dangerous brew from 
Olympia. Finally he communicated with Sheriff Byrd, instruct- 
ing him that he must appoint 100 deputies or else the governor 
would ask for United States troops. This gave the Chinese a 
new lease. Some of those who were preparing to leave decided 
to remain. jNIayor Weisbach called a conference to discuss this 
matter. The governor was informed that neither deputies nor 
troops were necessary but that deputies woul(J be provided. A 
few days later Governor Squire came to Tacoma and made a 
speecli at the Tacoma Hotel in which he urged restraint and 
pointed to his own duty in the matter. At the same time he tried 
to put a different meaning on the letters he had sent to the sheriff, 
and his conduct led to the charge that he had visited the foun- 
^tain too often. A formidable statement designed to be a guar- 
antee of peace was sent to him signed by Robert Wingate, T. B. 
Wallace, W. D. Tyler, General Sprague, W. B. Blackwell, I. 
W. Anderson, F. T. Olds, Stuart Rice, Ira Cogswell, Gen. Isaac 
W. Smith, James H. Ashton, E. S. (Skookum) Smith, W. P. 
Bonney, Henry Drum and other representative citizens. This 
statement assured the governor that troops were not necessary. 

J. P. Chilberg was chairman of the anti-Chinese committee 
and he and others spent much time in planning the great mass 
meeting of October 31st, when delegates from Seattle were to 
come to Tacoma for a conference. George O. Kelly's cannon on 
the bluff north of the Tacoma Hotel boomed a welcome for the 
Seattle boat. A dinner was served in the G. A. R. Hall, and 
an immense cake, ])aked by ]Mrs. H. S. Bixler, and bearing the 
slogan of the time — "The Chinese must go," was presented to the 
Seattle visitors. In the parade were 700 torchbearers. Rockets 
glared and fires lighted the streets. A. JNIacready was chair- 
man of the evening. Enthusiasm was great. The town rang 
with cheers. Women occupied the gallery and tlieir handker- 


chiefs ^^aved encouragement to the men. On the evening of the 
2nd, fifty extra jJoHcemen Mere sworn in. 

The "Committee of Fifteen" had pressed the warning upon 
the Chinese, hut some of the leading Knights conchided that the 
"Committee of Fifteen" was j)la3^ing pohtics and not acting in 
good faith. In the midst of mass meetings and processions the}'- 
formed the "Committee of Nine." The memhers of the "Com- 
mittee of Fifteen" did not know until long afterward of the exist- 
ence of the "Committee of Nine;" and perhaps some of them 
do not yet know it. The Chinese had paid too little attention to 
the "Committee of Fifteen," and word reached the ears of the 
"Committee of Nine" that certain members of the "Committee 
of Fifteen" had told the Chinese that the "Fifteen" w^arning 
was nothing more than a bluff. 

. The "Committee of Nine" was in dead earnest. It proceeded 
to organize a sort of secret endless chain, something after the 
manner of the Nihilist plan, which, it was said, Dan Cronin, the 
organizer of the Knights of Labor, bad followed. The program 
w^as for each member of the "Committee of Nine" to organize 
a circle of nine men. Each of the nine then was to organize his^ 
circle of nine. No man knew who had been chosen bv anv of the 
leaders or sub-leaders. Certain oaths were administered. Red, 
yellow and white cards were issued to designate the standing of 
the members. The members of the circles never met ; no member 
of a circle knew any of the other members of his circle. He 
knew only his leader. The nerves of this secret body permeated 
every part of the community, and its total membership never 
became known. Each man knew that at the proper time he was 
to follo^V his leader; each kncAv that the object of the organiza- 
tion was to drive out the orientals. 

The members of the "Committee of Nine" were: William 
Christie, a carpenter; Frank INIcGill, street commissioner; W. H. 
Hunter, house painter; John Budlong, carpenter; W. H. Rapier, 
Sr., and W. H. Rapier, his son, plasterers; Chancellor Graves, 
janitor of the Central School; A. U. JNIills, contractor; jM. P. 
Bulger, sewing machine agent. The only member of the "Com- 
mittee of Nine" who also was a member of the "Committee of 
Fifteen" was A. U. Mills. 


The "Committee of Fifteen" was in session all night Novem- 
ber 2nd, in the Taconia Hotel; the "Committee of Xine" was 
meeting at the same time in Chas. Gillis' house, Fifteenth and 
Yakima avenues, South. JNlills was sitting with the "Committee 
of Fifteen," but at the same time he was serving as a sort of 
go-between, and made trips through the night from one committee 
meeting to the other though it is said he did not know tlie details 
of what the "Committee of Xine" was doing. 

That night it was arranged that each member of the "Com- 
mittee of X'^ine" should take a district and thoroughl}^ canvass 
it before morning, notifying every man that when the whistles 
of the Lister Foundry should sound the signal at 9:30 the next 
morning, a general assault should be made on the Chinese shacks. 
jNIeantime the Committee of Fifteen had resolved to send another 
warning to the Chinese to get oiit of town. 

Through the remainder of the cold and rainy night the mem- 
bers of the "Committee of X^ine" covered their districts. 

At tlie sound of the whistles scores of men poured into tlie 
streets and each knew just what to do. It was a mob, but an 
orderly mob as mobs go. There was excitement to be sure, but 
the raiders did not lose their heads. Perhaps that was because 
they had already been lost. The first Chinese shack visited was 
at about where the ^Nlassasoit Hotel stands, and the raiders then 
visited one shack after another all tlie way from Seventeentli 
Street to Old Tacoma. One after another of the terrified Chi- 
nese ordered express wagons and began loading their plunder. 
JNIany of them, however, left behind everything except tlieii- 
money. Several of them were laundrymen, and they departed 
leaving their patrons' shirts and collars, some in the tubs and 
some read}' for delivery. ]Much of the community linen was lost, 
as marauders robbed the laundries. In some instances white 
women entered the Chinese sliacks and procured souvenirs. 
There are a number of prized teapots in Tacoma cupboards to 
this day. 

iNIayor Weisbach, tliough he assisted in setting in motion 
the machinery by which tlie expulsion was brought about, ap- 
pealed to Sheriff Byrd to enforce the law. The sheriff regarded 
it as beyond his ])r()vince. It is ])robable that Weisbach, as well 


as many others among the leaders, were greatly alarmed lest a riot 
be jjrecipitated. All the saloons were closed. Attorney B. W. 
Coiner had a conversation witli the mayor that illuminates the 
mayor's position. Coiner and the mayor were standing about 
where the City Hall now is while one of the driving parties was 
bringing the Chinese up from the wharf through the cold rain. 

"jNIr. Coiner," asked the mayor, "do you see any disturbance 
of the peace anywhere?" 

"Why do vou ask?" Coiner interrogated. 

"I'm the mayor, and it's my duty to preserve the peace. I 
want to know if I am doing my duty." 

"I'm inclined to think there is a disturbance of the peace, Mr. 
Mayor," said Coiner. 

"Well, I don't agree with you," replied the mayor, and he re- 
mained passively interested while the melancholy celestials filed 
j)ast under their determined guard, each white man carrying a 
cane or a club, though some of them assisted the Chinese with, 
their burdens. 

A number of prominent citizens, besides the deputies named 
by the sheriff, made it their business to accompany the visiting 
committees with the aim of preventing fights and of saving the 
Chinese property. A recent statement from Judge Wickersham 
was to the effect that though a member of the "Committee of Fif- 
teen" he did not know of the plan to oust tlie Chinese on the second 
of November, and had no inkling of it until he saw the "mob" 
in the streets. This is further evidence that it was the "Com- 
mittee of Nine," rather than the "Committee of Fifteen" that 
engineered the drive. 

In only one case did a Chinese attempt bloodshed. Charles 
Joles and Renwick W. Taylor had entered one of the Chinese 
houses, and while Taylor's back was turned a Chinaman leveled 
a revolver at him and snapped the trigger. Joles, however, had 
struck the weapon down, and the hammer fell on his tliumb 
instead of the cartridge. One can imagine that in the excite- 
ment of the time, tlie killing of a white man would have precipi- 
tated the bloodiest of reprisals and that the day would have been 
a black one in northwest history. Joles later was arrested in 
Olympia for participating in the anti-Chinese expulsion there. 


He and others were fined $500 and sent to McNeil's Island 
Prison where they sensed several months. 

There was but one arrest and that was of a man who had been 
drinking. Xot a blow was struck and the Chinese were gently 
handled. They were marshalled under abundant guardianship 
and marched in the rain to Lake View. Into wagons lined up in 
front of the Halstead House several old men, women and children 
were loaded. Grocers contributed an abundance of food for their ^ 
comfort. At Lake View the old Chinese House afforded shelter 
until a train could pick up the refugees. Jack Hewitt was con- 
ductor of the train that was flagged. 

"Put 'em aboard! I'll haul 'em!" he shouted. Into the 
boxcars the unfortunates were bundled and the train carried 
them to Portland. 

While perhaps a majority of the residents of the community 
were in favor of running the Chinese out, there was much very 
strong objection. Several of the millmen had found the Chinese 
very excellent workmen. Thev testifv to this dav that the Chi- 
nese were more reliable than the white labor obtainable at that 
time. Several well known families had Chinese servants. Mrs. 
Ezra Bowen, who lived on A Street, where the Schoenfeld Store 
stands, drove off with a broom the men who called at her home 
and ordered her to get rid of her servant. Isaac W. Anderson set 
two armed gaiards about his house, and he oj)enly declared that he 
had offered each of the guards $500 for wounding a raider and 
$1,000 for killing one. Neither reward was M'on. Anderson 
did not employ Chinese but he opposed their expulsion. 

There were about 700 Chinese in town when the agitation 
began. The early warnings of the committees caused about three 
hundred to leave, and on the final round-up about two hundred 
and fifty were gathered in. Some of the Chinese it was foimd 
had armed themselves with iron bars and dangerous knives. 
Some of the store owners remained behind to pack their goods, 
and they worked night and day to complete it. They were given 
plenty of time for this and their property and persons were 
guarded. An interesting phase of the proceeding was the 
absence of personal feeling. As a matter of fact the Chinese 
had manv warm friends in the "mob." Whites and Chinese often 


had calmly discussed the dangers of yellow labor on this coast. 
Generally speaking a fairly pleasant relationship had existed 
between the races. 

Active all through the volcanic period of the -excitement 
was the Rev. P. F. Hylebos. While he was behind the scenes 
most of the time the spot light now and then found him on the 
stage. Early in the proceedings he saw that his opposition to 
* the anti-Chinese party could not hope to check its determination 
to remove the yellow incubus. His own attitude toward the Chi- 
nese was one of strong antipathy, but he was opjJosed to break- 
ing the laws to get rid of them. However, once his practical 
mind had embraced the true situation he resolved that his position 
should be one of a guide toward the greatest good in the midst 
of evil. In other words, if there was to be a mob and mob law, 
he chose for his part the elimination of the worst of mobs and mob 
law, and very shortly he was in the counsels of the innermost 
circles, quietly advising caution, shrewdly distracting attention 
from riotous plans, entering into the very heart of the whole 
conspiracy yet smoothly robbing it of its bloody possibilities. 
Undoubtedly he prevented a mob from attempting to ride 
General SpragTie and I. W. Anderson out of town on rails and 
it is probable that he saved Anderson's life from an assassin. 

When SheriiF Byrd appointed a number of deputy sheriffs 
on the day of the ouster Father Hylebos was one of them, at his 
own request, and he was placed on Railroad Street, between 
Seventh and Ninth where there were a number of Chinese houses, 
which it oenerally was understood were to be burned by the 
factionaries designated to visit that locality. This had come to 
the ears of the priest. He was at his post when the whistles 
screamed the signal and as the men assigned to his section came, 
he directed them to a vacant room nearby, saying that when all 
Avere there he desired to speak with them for five minutes. Hav- 
ing corralled them, he at once entered into the question of incen- 
diarism, told the men that a fire started there might Inn-n the 
entire city and forever ruin its reputation besides, while, if the 
shacks, which had been built by the Chinese on leased land, were 
allowed to remain they would revert to the white owners of the 
land and the communitv would benefit by it. He dismissed them 


Avitli the assertion that he beheved that, if the whites moved in an 
orderly manner, lifting not so much as a finger against the Chi- 
nese, the day's work would be completed happily and the Chinese 
menace forever disposed of. He also told them that he knew 
every man j)resent; that he was there to do his duty and that he 
would arrest and prosecute if his orders were disobeyed. His 
sermon was effective. 

But at about 10:30 on the 5th, while the special officers were 
searching the Chinese quarter and locking the doors of the pesti- 
lential shacks against white intrusion, a fire broke out in one of 
the score of Chinese houses on the waterfront and in an hour or so 
everj^thing was burned. There was not hose enough to reach, 
and that which was laid was cut in several places. Rats and cats 
poured out of the burning row. 

The day before a row of shacks occupied- by Indians and 
Chinese, near Old Tacoma had been burned. A warrant, sworn 
out by Deputy A. M. Dufield, caused the arrest of Ah Chung 
Charley, whose correct name was later learned to be Jim Kee, 
charging him with arson. Justices A. Camj^bell and A. E. Law- 
rence sat together to hear the case. The Chinaman was acquitted, 
though the justices said his conduct had been suspicious. It was 
argued that the Chinese set the fire in order to procure heavier 
damages. As a matter of fact the Chinese shacks were almost 
w^ithout value and the health officer had urged their removal at 
once. The opinion of the time was that a white man had applied 
the match. 

The community was feeling better. It had purged itself of 
700 Chinese within a few months and had destroyed most of their 
habitations. There was much jollification, but it was shortlived. 
The federal grand jury was sitting in Vancouver, and United 
States INIarshal George hastened u]) to Tacoma as soon as he 
heard of the enforced oriental exodus and subpoenaed, as wit- 
nesses before the grand jury, C. W. Harvey, J. P. Chilberg, C. 
N. Senter, Sam King, Kzra jNIeeker, Vou Xon, Albert Wliyte, 
C. D. Young, J. H. Houghton, Stuart Rice, J. W. Pinkerton, 
Alex. Parker, H. C. Clement, W. A. Freeman. W. P. Pritchard, 
Quon San, F. F. Hopkins and A. Sands. 

Several com))anies of infantry had been sent from Fort Van- 

Vol. 1—2 4 


couver to Seattle, where trouble was imminent. After remain- 
ing there for a day or so, four companies under Capt. G. S. 
Carpenter were sent to Tacoma. Simultaneously came Marshal 
George, with warrants for the arrest of a large number of those 
who had participated in the Chinese affair. It had been reported 
to JNIarshal George that attemj^ts at arrest would be met with 
violence; that if arrests were made, efforts would be made to 
rescue the prisoners. Some such threats had been made, but 
it is not believed that they were widespread and serious. The 
marshal, however, took the preparedness view. 

Capt. Albert Whyte was sworn in as a deputy United 
States marshal, and it was demanded of him that he identify 
those for whom the marshal had warrants, and the officers soon 
had all of them in custody, finding several of them grouped about 
the stove in one of the stores, solemnly discussing the possibilities. 
Those arrested were: Mavor Weisbach, Councilman D. B. 
Hannah, Probate Judge James Wickersham, Councilman E. G. 
Bacon, A. U. ^lills, H. S. Bixler, T. L. Nixon, H. C. Patrick, 
John Forbes, Fire Chief Jacob Ralph, H. A. Stevens, Wm. 
Christie, A. J. Anderton, John Budlong, Frank McGill, Chas. 
Pertz, M. C. Gillis, A. W. Cone, E. von Schraeder, Lewis Stimp- 
son, Ben E. Everett, G. R. Epperson, G. D. Lawson, A. Raduen- 
zel, M. 3IcAtee, C. E. King, J. Fernandez. An indictment also 
was returned aoainst ex-editor Comerford but he had left for his 
old stamping grounds in South America a few days before. 

The entire party was marched to the court house, then on C 
Street, for the night. Two of them men, whose wives were pros- 
trated with fear and grief, were permitted to go home. Captain 
Whyte voucliing for their return the following morning. The 
remainder were kept in charge of Whyte, and the tension was 
sharp. He heard some of the men making threats, and there 
were rumors of an attempt at rescuing the men from the officers' 

"I decided that the boldest thing I could do at that moment 
was the safest," said Captain Whyte, "so I threw off my coat, 
tossed my two revolvers into the corner and announced that I 
could shoulder the heaviest man of the group. It's an old trick — 
one that I learned in the army. The first man to come forward 


was 'Jack' Forbes, the biggest of the bunch, and in a twinkling 
I had him on my shoulders, dancing about the room with him. 
Everybody began laughing, the strain was over and we had a 
very pleasant night together, all things considered." 

Word was carried to Captain Whj'te that if he did not cease 
his activities his throat would be cut. One of the leaders of the 
anti-Chinese movement went to him one day to ask hhn if he 
would obey orders to put the Tacoma Guards on duty. 

"Certainly," he replied. "Xothing else could be done, even if 
I desired. 

"Do you know that there are five hundred armed men in this 
town and that they will wipe out your sixty guards at the first 
volley r' he was asked. 

"Well, what of that? I am a soldier," Captain White replied. 

"No, you're just a d — d fool," was the retort. 

On the wav to the station with the men, to take the train for 
Portland, there were ominous mutterings from the crowds that 
lined the streets, and there was some apprehension that an effort 
still would be made to rescue the men. Why te was walking with 
Forbes, the giant of the group of prisoners, when "Jim" Steele, 
then perhaps the most prosperous real estate operator in the 
comnnmity and a jovial soul, shouted to the big man: 
"Say, have you got Whyte or has Whyte got you?" 

Laughter succeeded frowns and the serious tension was 

The prisoners were taken to Portland where their bonds were 
fixed at $5,000 each. They were charged with conspiring to 
insurrection and riot, depriving Chinese subjects of equal protec- 
tion under the law, and of breaking open houses and driving out 
the oriental occupants. The judge warned the prisoners 
they were accused of crimes of a most serious character. He then 
sent them all back to Tacoma in the care of the marshal, to ap]iear 
before the United States commissioner and give bonds. It had 
been the. intention of the authorities to place the Tacoma prisoners 
in jail in Vancouver but upon their arrival there the officers and 
the town's people were surprised to find that they were not ragged 
vagabonds but quiet, well-dressed citizens and tlie officers allowed 
them to remain in tlie court house over niglit, just as they liad 
been imprisoned in Tacoma. 


Tacoma was the object of the severest criticism from many 
quarters, as the "drive" had been pictured by the newsj^apers in 
several cities as a brutahty unparalleled. The east and middle 
west then, as now, did not view with alarm the "yellow peril," 
because those sections lacked actual contact with it. Seattle and 
Portland paj^ers denounced Tacoma with the sharpest derision 
and scorn. It was partially with the aim of mollifying the city's 
enemies that a meeting was called in the Alpha Opera House on 
the evening of Xovember 11th, to welcome the returning twenty- 
seven prisoners from Vancouver in a manner befitting the home- 
coming of- "martyrs." A torchlight procession and a cheering 
throng met the twentv-seven at the station. One of the men who 
met the returning heroes and rode in a carriage at the head of 
the procession was Rev. P. F. Hylebos, who, with others, went on 
the bonds of the prisoners. He had been up the valley that 
afternoon administering to the Indian Xapoleon the last rites, as 
Xapoleon was dying. On the way home, in crossing a corduroyed 
stretch of road which was afloat, the water being high just then, 
his horse became entangled in the timbers and fell, throwing 
the priest over his head. Father Hylebos was painfully bruised 
but mounted his horse and hastened on to the town, as he desired 
to witness the home-coming. When he reached the station he 
was unable to climb from his horse. Friendly hands removed 
him and placed him in a carriage and he attended the festivities 
that ensued in the Alpha Opera House. At that meeting the 
speakers again emphasized the "unlawful" presence of the Chi- 
nese, and J. E. Burns offered a resolution to the effect that the 
Chinese were "not forcibly expelled (as charged) but of their 
own accord packing up and leaving" in obedience to public senti- 
ment, and "no single word was spoken or act committed, to wound 
or hurt them in mind or in person." One of the speakers, describ- 
ing the conditions that had been remedied by the burning of the 
Chinese shacks, declared that the driving committeemen had 
found 400 Chinese, fifty-two hogs, and many chickens, ducks, 
geese and cats on a half acre of waterfront. 

Comerford had returned. A fund had been raised to ship him 
far, far away, and Radebaugh, Anderson and Sprague were 
among those who had contributed, with happy expectations. In- 


stead of going to South America he went only as far as San 
Francisco. Comerford at once renewed his agitations, joining 
with the Knights of Lahor is making uncomfortahle all who 
op2)osed even academically the anti-Chinese movement. There 
began to appear mystic signs on store fronts. These symbols, it 
was whispered, meant that the stores were to be boj^cotted, and 
several of the merchants were thrown into consternation. Comer- 
ford, it was believed, was at least partially responsible for this 
method of attack. 

M. P. Bidger, who had been one of the ring-leaders in the 
movement in Tacoma went to Seattle where he figured conspic- 
uously in the attempt to rid that city of the Chinese. Rioting 
ensued and Bulger narrowly escaped with his life. He was one 
of a half dozen men indicted, and the trial, which soon was held, 
was watched with the most intense interest by the twenty-seven 
accused Tacomans, who were being given generovis aid by their 
fellow townsmen in the preparations for their defense. 

It had been the understanding that 500 armed meu would go 
to Seattle to assist in removing the Chinese, at the moment the 
leaders in Seattle sent word. It is not at all probable that any 
such number would have gone, but there were enough fanatics 
to make up a fair company of fighters and they were too much 
in earnest. This plan soon came to the attention of Father 
Hylebos, who was everywhere working in his desire to keep men 
out of trouble, and he w^as not long in getting in the midst of a 
group of them with his logic and practical sense. He told them 
he expected to be on Pacific Avenue continuously on the day 
apjiointed for the Seattle adventure, and that, if they decided to 
go, he also woidd go, with the aim of nursing the wounded; but 
he told them: "Don't depend upon Seattle men to call on you. 
Send from your own number two good men to go to Seattle, 
investigate thoroughly, and let yoiu- i)lans depend upon their 
report, and their call." This was done. One of the emissaries 
chosen was Jacob INIann, and Hylebos immediately cornered him 
and practically exacted a promise that, instead of a telegram 
calling to arms, he would send one to the effect that all was well, 
etc. On the appointed day the priest walked Pacific Avenue all 
day long, without lunch or rest, assuring the hotheads that the 


moment the ^^'llistles blew he would start with them — but the 
whistles never blew. 

The Chinese question again outweighed all others in the city 
election of May 4, 1886, when Jacob Mann, the candidate of the 
anti-Chinese element, was elected mayor, receiving 632 votes. 
T. L. Nixon received 396 votes, and F. T. Olds, 400. 

Government agents, under the direction of Governor Squire, 
had been at work in Tacoma most of the time since the "drive," 
and just now the governor was hearing the claims of the disj^os- 
sessed Chinese. The community shivered, then laughed, when the 
governor announced that the total of the damages demanded by 
the Chinese reached $96,147. The Chinese had been paying taxes 
on just about one forty-eighth of that sum, or $2,000, and their 
agent, it will be remembered, had offered to move them out bag 
and baggage for $2,500. 

The Seattle trial resulted in the acquittal of the "conspira- 
tors." District Attorney White had declared that Bulger was the 
"evil genius" of the combination and denounced him very bitterly. 
Sheriff ]McGraw also had excoriated Bulger in his report to the 
governor. A day or so after the acquittal Bulger brought the 
Seattle men to Tacoma for a visit and jollification, and a mass 
meeting was held in the G. A. R. Hall to congratulate them. 
John Arthur presented a resolution declaring that the result of 
the trial was a "fresh vindication of trial bv iurv and a victory 
for the people of Puget Sound." The resolutions were received 
with cheering enthusiasm and adopted with a yell. 

November 4, 1886, the first anniversary of the Chinese expul- 
sion Avas observed with a parade and torch light procession and at 
the meeting held in the G. A. R. Hall, Eli G. Bacon was chairman 
and Judge Wickersham and John Artliui- were among the speak- 
ers. In October, 1886, the Federal Grand Jury reindicted 
Geo. K. Epperson, J. A. Comerford, M. Kaufman, R. J. Weis- 
bach, A. U. jNIills, James Wickersham, H. A. Stevens, Jacob 
Rolph, and D. B. Hannah, these men having been chosen by 
Prosecuting Attorney White for trial. The following spring an 
attempt to bring the case to trial failed and this ended the prose- 
cution of the famous twentv-seven. For several years the anni- 
versary of the drive was celebrated in various ways. 


William P. Bulger, one of the most active among the anti- 
Chinese forces, recently said of the expulsion: 

"It was wrong. We were young and hot-headed. AVe defied 
the law. We were inflamed over an evil condition. It was a 
condition which the town had to get rid of, and it was a good thing 
when the riddance was made, but we went about it in the wrong 
way. I would not now take part in any such a proceeding — on 
the other hand. I would oppose it most strenuously." 

For years afterward men ran for office on the strength of theii' 
connection with the anti-Chinese movement and usually they were 
elected. The members of the Committee of Fifteen became 
heroes in the public imagination, and for years they exercised 
a large authority in political affairs. For a quarter of a century 
it was not safe for a man wdio had been opposed to the anti- 
Chinese movement to offer himself for public office, unless he 
was prepared to welcome defeat. 

The question of indemnifying the Chinese was carried before 
Congress at once and the Deficiency Act of October 19, 1888, 
aj)propriated $276,619.7.5 to be paid to the Chinese government 
"out of humane consideration and without reference to the ques- 
tion of liabilit}^ therefor, as full indemnity for all losses and injur- 
ies sustained by Chinese subjects M'ithin the United States at the 
hands of the citizens thereof." Chang Yen Hoon, envoy extra- 
ordinary, receipted for the solacing sum and sent it home, but the 
Government of the United States never was informed how 
the money was distributed, nor what part of it was paid to heal the 
wounds inflicted by Tacomans. This $276,619.7.5 was designed 
to cover all claims growing out of the anti-Chinese movement in 
the West; except the Rock Springs, Wyoming, affair for whicli 
Congress had in 1887 made an appropriation of $147,748.74, 
which, like the one that followed it, was punctuated by a spirit 
of generosity rather than by the dimensions of an exact justice. 
Congress probably reflected the general eastern opinion, which 
was that we were so fortunate in escaping the serious anger 
of China that it was no time for the particular weighing of 










The first weather forecast in Tacoma was wired to E. N. 
Fuller, the local observer, January 11, 1886. The weather at this 
time was verv windv and there was about a foot of snow on the 
ground. But in spite of unusual Weather, excitement went to a 
hiffh ebb when on January 21 the news came that Nelson Bennett 
had closed a contract for driving the Stampede Tunnel. 

At this time the Ledger was filling a column a day with the 
"Vander-Billion Psychos" of George Francis Train. This eccen- 
tric and brilliant man was then in New York and he had taken 
up the cause of Tacoma with the same enthusiasm which he had 
taken in Omaha some time before. While his poems and philoso- 
phizings now seem to be almost without rhyme or reason, they 
had a great audience in their day and the fact that he had turned 
his talent to the support of Tacoma was a pleasing incident in 
this city's history. Some persons have given to Train the credit 
of naming Tacoma "The City of Destiny," but Editor Julius 
Dickens of Steilacoom had employed almost the identical expres- 
sion long before. Immediately upon hearing that Bennett had 
closed a contract Train sent to him a telegram reading, "Bore, 
Bennett, Bore! Bore, Bennett, Bore!" This couplet had a popu- 
larity that became national. Bennett, who less than ten years 



before luid been a teamster, at once threw into the tunnel work 
all the enthusiasm of his resourceful and resolute personality. 
To reach the site of the tunnel, supplies had to be carried over- 
land for many miles from both sides of the mountains and at the 
site heavy machinery had to be hoisted with cranes up the declivi- 
tous mountain side. In order to carry the heavy machinery to 

A' •< «/ 

the tunnel, plank roads had to be laid until snow was reached, 
and skids were employed. When the working force first went 
to the mountains the snow was from six to ten feet in depth. 
Before a wheel had been turned or the machinery put in motion 
$125,000 had been spent. There was difficulty in getting white 
men, and Bennett, though opposed to the emj)loyment of Chinese, 
was compelled to use them. 

Simultaneously the building of the railroad from both east 
and west toward the summit began and was pushed with impetu- 
ous speed. 

Prej^arations M^ere being made for the oncoming transcon- 
tinental line and the Xorthern Pacific Railway was preparing to 
lay its tracks around the head of the bay. A few days later a 
site was made ready for the railroad headquarters building at 
South Seventh Street and Pacific Avenue. The company had 
tried to procure lots south of Seventh Street but the owners 
wanted more money than the company was willing to j^ay and it 
then decided to build north of Seventh, provided the city would 
vacate twenty feet of Seventh Street in order to make room 
enough for the building. This vacation was permitted and work 
immediately began. 

The design for the headquarters building was drawn by 
Charles B. Talbott, who for about eight years was the railroad 
architect. He had planned the great coal bunkers. In later years 
he figured prominently in water and mountain affairs. On 
one of his twenty-two trips to the north side of jNIount Tacoma 
he found a spot on Mount Tolmie where he hoped that a hotel 
might be built, as the lights of Tacoma and Seattle and Hoods 
Canal were visible from that ])oint. On one of his visits to Stam- 
pede Tunnel he found, a mile from the entrance, a fossil stone, 
bearing the imprint of what appears to be a beech leaf. 
Mrs. Talbott gave this interesting specimen, as well as many 


other mementoes of her husband's activities to the State Histor- 
ical Society. 

The officers of the Pacific National Bank, which opened in 
January, were C. P. Masterson, president; L. R. Manning, vice 
president; T. B. Wallace, cashier; W, D. Tyler, J. P. Stewart 
and the officers were the directors. The officers of the National 
Bank of Commerce, also a new concern, were: F. ]M. Wade, 
president; J. C. Weatherred, vice president; A. F. McClaine, 
cashier. These with J. ]M. Buckley, C. Catlin, A. C. Campbell 
and John Burke composed the directorate. The Tacoma Trust 
and Savings Bank had been organized with Walter J. Thompson, 
president; Nelson Bennett, vice president; W. B. Allen, cashier. 
Its incorporators were M. F. Hatch, Bishop Paddock, ]M. J. 
Coggswell, C. S. Barlow, A. C. Smith, G. F. Orchard, Rev. Wil- 
liam H. Sampson and Jesse M. Allen. 

At the ^lay election the Chinese question again figxu'ed. The 
nominees for mayor were Jacob ]Mann, T. L. Nixon, and F. T. 
Olds. The republican party was in difficulties from the begin- 
ning, several of its nominees withdrawing just before the election. 
Jacob Mann was the anti-coolie candidate and he received 682 
votes. Olds received 400 and Nixon 396. A few days later the 
election of clerk came before the council with ^Nleade and Rapier 
as the candidates. Rapier had been prominent in the anti-coolie 
movement. Meade had been city clerk and school clerk for some 
time. He was reelected. 

June 28 at a special election prohibition was defeated by 604 
votes. The total vote cast was 1898. The battle had been carried 
on mostly by the women. 

Indications of an enlarging prosperity were shown by tlie 
establishment here of the northwestern distributing agency of the 
Standard Oil Company July 6, and its first shipment was three 
cars of oil. Engineer C. O. Bean announced plans for the diking 
of the tideflats for the recovery of 175 acres. Smith & Cogswell 
were grading C Street from St. Luke's Church to Division Ave- 
nue. Southward the work already was completed to Jefferson 
Avenue with 12-foot sidewalks. Contracts amounting to $27,000 
were let to J. D. Rainey & Sons for the first substantial buildings 
for the asylum at Steilacoom. 


JNIarch 5, the council passed a house numbering ordinance, a 
subject wliich had been under discussion for nearly ten years. 
Campbell & Powell, David Levin, Chas. B. Wright, W. E. Black- 
well, Isaac W. Anderson, jNIeyer Kaufman and L. Wolff were 
building business blocks on Pacific Avenue. John S. Baker was 
building a $7,000 residence on C Street. G. B. Kandle was build- 
ing a residence on A Street. It still stands just north of the 
Fuller Paint Company's establishment. The Ouimette residence 
on the northwest corner of Tacoma Avenue and Second Street 
had just been completed. February of '87 was bitterly cold for 
a few days, ice four inches in thickness being formed on the lakes 
and for a few days a heavy snow lay on the ground. 

Between January and July, forty-nine residences, twenty 
stores and two churches were built at the cost of nearly $400,000. 
One of the churches was the first Christian which stood on the 
east side of E Street south of Thirteenth Street. Its dimen- 
sions were 28 by 50 feet. It had a 60-foot steeple and it cost 
$2,000. It had seating capacity for 200 and its building com- 
mittee consisted of T. J. Sweeney, J. H. Lotz, and ^Irs. Belle 
Mann. July 5 Nelson Bennett bought the Ingalls residence 
and decided to live in Tacoma. 

The celebration on the Fourth of July centered around a 
contest among the hose comj^anies of Seattle and Tacoma. This 
was a form of entertainment nationally popular for many years. 
One of the tests was to run 600 feet, lay 50 feet of hose and 
throw water. Tacoma Union Hose Company won the prize, 
which was $200. Seattle No. 2 and the Tacoma Champions 
divided the second prize. Seattle Xo. 1 was ruled out on account 
of improper coupling, and Seattle Xo. 2 was set back one- 
quarter of a second for a similar reason. The winner's time was 
37% seconds. The hook and ladder test required a run of 660 
feet, and place and scale a 20-foot ladder. Seattle won this in 
thirty-five seconds, with Tacoma only one second behind. The 
])rizes were $100 and $25. In the team run of 660 feet Seattle 
Xo. 2 won in 27V> seconds. Tacoma's hose com];aii!es had been 
well developed by this time. The organizations were: 

Commencement Hook and Ladder Company, organized 
October 20, 1883 — C. A. Darmer, secretary; J. H. Lotz, treas- 


urer. Foreman, Chas. Langert; first assistant foreman, T. J. 
O'Mara; third assistant foreman, J. D. SchoU. Chas. Aitkens, 
P. R. Bo^nnan, H. R. Barbour, Geo. Eckert, Thos. Daugherty, 
O. C. Gunderson, Jos. Klee, Geo. Kiehhneyer, Julius Kley, 
John Laumeister, Ottamar Longlots, W. S. Lamay, A. J. 
Lynch, O. A. ]Molinda, G. A. ]McGouldrick, J. B. ]Mamlock, 
A. J. ^McLaughlin, H. Wyman, C. I. Olsen, A. Peacock,, 
M. Pendegast, C. Poetz, J. Ralph, A. Raduenzel, D. Stegman, 
G. S. Smith, I. Wickland, J. Johnson, G. Brigman. 

Active Hose Companj^ Xo. 1, organized ^larcli 4, 1885 — 
W. P. Sundberg, captain; Jonathan Spencer, assistant secre- 
tary; A. McCuUej^ treasurer. D. ^IcDonald, Frank Leopo- 
mard, C. T. Uhlman, Peter Ross, O. J. Anderson, Geo. Gunn, 
S. D. Garrison, Chas. Berg, Geo. Buchanan, Theo. 3Iohrbacher, 
Ben Spencer, John Forbes, Chas. Stone, Jr., Peter Westlin. 

Alert Hose Comj^anj^, No. 2, organized ^larch 4, 188.5 — 
A. JJ. Mills, cai^tain; A. F. Hoska, assistant secretary; A. ]Mc- 
Culley, treasurer. S. A. Prindle, A. E. Wilson, ]M. Swamp, 
A. B. Smith, W. D. ^NIcGee, E. O. Fulmer, Charles McAtee, 
R. Roediger, F. H. Sotzen, C. Packscher, L. A. Klein, C. E. 
:\Iarble, A. J. Whitman, S. E. Parker, C. E. King, Fred Taylor, 
Geo. Powell, L. A. Powell, Oscar ]Macy, C. S. Lockwood, 
H. P. Hart. 

West Side Hose Company, Xo. 3, organized August 28, 
188.5 — George Geyer, captain; G. S. Smith, assistant captain; 
George Arkley, secretary; E. S. Greer, treasurer. 31. W. Gree]', 
R. E. Fuller, F. Houghton, I. F. Reals, B. Deeringer, E. L. 
Benton, J. H. Robb, Joseph Fernandez, James Wickersham, 
S. H. Laumeister, M. Brotton, W. W. Brown, John W. Berry. 

Eagle Hose Company Xo. 2, First Ward, organized July 
30, 188.5 — J. H. Fuller, president; A. J. Hunter, vice i^resi- 
dent; H. ]M. Lillis, secretary; A. L. Whipple, treasurer; John 
FarrelL foreman; S. J. ^lurphy, first assistant foreman; 
A. Wolf, second assistant foreman; James Farrell. steward. 
John X. Fuller, A. J. Hunter, D. B. Hanna, A. J. Whipple, 
A. 31. Lillis, Jolm Farrell, S. J. ]Murphy. Gustave Wolf, James 
Farrell, S. C. Howes, Charles Seymour, J. R. Torres, L. Wold, 
A. Howe, Charles Kittle, Howard Wilson, JNIiles Darcy, 


A. Walters, Walter Rector, James Murphy, Floyd Steels, Fred 
Neitzel, Fred Babcock, Fred Duncan, Charles Johnson, R. 
Feitge, Ned Glenfield, Robt. Bruce. 

There were in the department four hose carriages and two 
hook and ladder trucks. Active Hose Company No. 1 had 700 
feet of hose; Alert Hose Company No. 2 had 700; the West 
Side Company No. 3 had 600; and the Eagle Hose Company 
No. 1, of the First Ward had 800. The First Ward had one 
hook and ladder truck, and there were members enough in the 
hose com])any to man the machine. In the year just passed the 
city government had put in forty hydrants. The pressure varied 
from 62 to 100 pounds to the inch, and the average pressure 
along Pacific Avenue was 70, which was sufficient to throw an 
effective stream over the highest building on the street. 

A few days after its exercise on the Fourth the department 
had an opportunity again to show its skill at actual fire fighting, 
when the Caughran & Knatvold tub factory, on the Old Tacoma 
waterfront, burned with a loss of $12,000. Efforts. to quench 
the blaze revealed the fact that the water tank had been emptied, 
the fire hose cut and the watchman was drunk. It was the third 
time that the mill had been fired within a short time. 

In August, 1886, the peoples party held its county conven- 
tion in Tacoma with A. Urch presiding. This was the first 
appearance on the local political stage of this great popular 
movement, which in the years to come, was to remake the politi- 
cal map of Wasliington. The following month the state conven- 
tion of the party was held here and promulgated one of its 
characteristic platforms. The platforms of this party usually 
were well written and the one adopted in Tacoma was even 
above the ordinary in its diction. No wonder the masses listened 
when they read its picturesque opening sentence : 

"Tlie peoples party announce this intention — that, when bad 
men and drones combine, the industrials must arise or they will 
fall a pitiful sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." 

A few days later the first republican territorial convention to 
be held in Tacoma met, witli Chas. INI. Bi'adshaw of Jefferson 
County as chairman; E. F. Wilson and Allen Weir, secretaries. 
There had been much fear on Tacoma's part that the large dele- 


gation from King County would attempt to control the meeting 
and quite ample preparations were made to circumvent that pos- 
sibility. Squires of Seattle, Bradshaw and others were presented 
as delegates to Congress. Squires was the King County man. 
On the first ballot he had ninetv-four votes, Bradshaw had none, 
but on the ninth ballot there was a break and general stampede 
to Bradsliaw led by Tacoma forces. The Seattle men tried to 
show tliat it was tliey who had led the stampede and for some 
time the papers of the two cities were filled with the quarrel. 
Before the campaign had progressed very far an attempt was 
made to organize an anti-coolie movement and it went far enough 
to nominate county officers. However, most of them \^^thdrew 
as it seemed to be an attemj^t to play a political trick. 

Ezra JNIeeker had announced his candidacy for Congress but 
got out of the race when A. S. Farquharson came forward with 
the promise to follow him over the district, if he were nominated, 
denouncing him. ]Meeker had opened headquarters in the 
Tacoma Hotel. Farquharson followed him there and met Vor- 
hees, democratic candidate for Congress, and he informed Vor- 
hees that he was prepared to pursue Sleeker to the bitter end, 
and from the stimip and through the press, would amplify testi- 
mony that had been taken in a land case in Olympia. Farquhar- 
son had settled in Puyallup (which he is said to have named) in 
the late '70s, and established a large barrel factory. He and 
Meeker soon clashed. They had rival stores. They built rival 
water works, squabbled over land, and wasted considerable sums 
of money in their contests. Farquharson says that, some time 
after INIeeker had i^dthdrawn, he sought to make peace, but Far- 
quharson recalled a remark which he (Meeker) had made in the 
course of their sharply contested land case, in which Attorneys 
Frank Clark of Tacoma and Thomas Burke of Seattle figru'cd. 
Meeker had said: "I'll fight you till hell freezes over!" Farquhar- 
son retorted, "I'll meet you on the other side!" When Meeker 
came bearing the olive branch, Farquharson reminded him that 
he then was "meeting him on the other side," and he added: 
"You never shall go to Congress as long as I live." Farquharson 
is still living, and he is still on Ezra's trail. 

At the November election, Bradshaw defeated Vorhees. 


J. P. Stewart and Walter J. Thompson were elected to the 
Legislature. B. W. Coiner was made prosecuting attorney. 
Col. Jas. jNl. Steele was elected to the Legislative Council by 
306 votes. It was a curious coincidence that he weighed 306 
pounds and that he was a member of the famous band of 306 
that stood with General Grant in the Chicago convention in 
1880 after Conkling's famous speech. 

Chaplain R. S. Stubbs, who long had labored among sea- 
faring men of the Northwest and who frequently had come to 
Tacoma to minister to them, became a citizen of this city in 1886, 
and at once he and his wife became leaders in church and benevo- 
lent work. Chaplain Stubbs' first duties, of course, centering in 
the Seamen's Friends Institute. Chaplain Stubbs is still among 
the living and he continues to participate in religious endeavors, 
though he has reached a green old age. Both he and Mrs. Stubbs 
exercised a wide and lasting influence throughout the Northwest. 

In the fall of '86 the Evening Telegraph had been started, 
its incorporators being J. B. Cromwell, H. R. Cox, and Isaac 
Durboraw. The News at this time was owned by Richard Roed- 
iger, William JMcIntyre, Allen C. JNIason, W. A. Berry and 
James Wickersham, they having bought out George R. Epper- 
son, who had bought it from Patrick. Epperson left the new^s- 
paper field under a cloud. The News and the Ledger were 
fighting most of the time and Radebaugh, owner of the Ledger 
was given the credit of starting the Evening Telegraph in the 
hope of destroying the New^s, but it did not last long. 

Sam Wall had been editor of the Telegraph. He had come 
to Tacoma two years before and had been with both the News 
and the Ledger. One day the News printed an eight-line edito- 
rial cruelly attacking Wall's character. Wall went to the News 
office the next day and shot at the editor, Herbert Sylvester 
Harcourt. Wall used a pistol of the smallest caliber and its 
bullet was deflected by a piece of steel in Harcourt's cravat. 
Stuart Rice was in the New\s office at the time. Wall approaclied 
Editor Harcourt with the remark: "I've come up to kill you!" 
"I hardly thought that," replied Harcourt with a smile. Wall 
then fired. City Editor Boise, W. A. Berry and AVilliam JNIcIn- 
tyre seized W^all and his pistol again was (Hscharged in the strug- 


gie, slightly wounding Boise. Berry then attacked Wall ^vith a 
window shade roller, pursuing him through the streets for some 
distance and beating him badly. Wall was arrested and was 
released on $7,000 bonds signed by Leigh Hunt, of the Seattle 
Post-Intelligencer, and Walter J. Thompson. Wall at that 
time was the Tacoma correspondent of Hunt's paper and both 
the Xew^s and the Ledger charged him with writing against the 
welfare of Tacoma, and this is what finally led to the brutal 
l^aragraph penned by Harcourt. Wall's case Mas continued 
from time to time, Harcourt left the country, and finally the 
matter was dropped, the community and the officials feeling that 
Wall at least had obeyed the " unwritten law." 

One scarcely can realize the intensity of the bitter feelinff 
existing between Tacoma and Seattle. The papers were full of 
it. The orators were preaching it and it even reached the pulpit. 
Anything either community could do to damage the other was 
done. A reflection of this feeling was seen in a sign which Cook 
& Clement, real estate dealers, put up in Tacoma. The sign 
read, "Seattle, Seattle, Death-rattle, Death-rattle." 

Wall was born in Pittsburg in 18.58 and his first newspaper 
experience was on the Pittsburgh Leader. Later he joined with 
W. W. Clark, who was known as "Gilhooly" and "Frisby," in 
the publication of a humorous paper which soon came to a 
pathetic end through the death of Clark. Wall came to Tacoma 
to become city editor of the Ledger, and after years of hard work 
and adventure which carried him to many parts of the world, he 
returned to Tacoma about three years ago, wrote editorials for 
the News for a time, then struck out for Mexico on a small sail- 
ing vessel outfitted in San Francisco for the purpose of making 
moving pictures of war scenes. This expedition was not a suc- 
cess, and Wall returned to Tacoma and became editor of "What's 
Doing," a weekly published by Stanley Bell, and to this publica- 
tion he gave a state notoriety in a short time by renewing the 
contest to eliminate the name "Mt. Rainier." His slogan was: 
"Let's take the curse off the mountain," an enterprise which 
his persistence has finally placed before the commercial and other 
organizations of both Seattle and Tacoma. Wall is now with 
the Tacoma Times. 


One of the most brutal incidents of the history of the city 
took place on October 2, when one Chas. Starkweather was tarred 
and feathered by three men who broke into his shack in Old 
Tacoma, carried him out, stripped him, covered him with tar 
and feathers, the latter from his own pillows, then threw him 
into the bay. He was taken out more dead than alive and carried 
into a saloon. Solicitous persons covered him for a while with 
old sacks and the Indian woman with whom he lived finally took 
him across the bay in a canoe to escape the threats of his enemies. 
Starkweather was a white man, and his assailants falsely accused 
him of having attacked his Indian woman. He suffered terribly 
in the cold and when finally returned to Tacoma he was more 
nearly dead than alive. His assailants were arrested and after a 
long delay were brought to trial. 

The city was just then much interested in the building of the 
East and South schools. The contract for the East School was 
let to Knoell & Bragonier for $2,274 and the South School to 
Casebolt & Tomley and called for $3,765. The East School is 
now known as the Hawthorne School, and the South School as 
the Longfellow, the school board deciding in the spring of '89 
to name buildings after American authors. But in later years 
other boards deemed it wise to use the names of Presidents. 

The Postal Telegraph line came in in October, 1886, and in 
a short time John ]M. Bell became its first manager. 

Before the council at that period was the application of 
Nelson Bennett for a street car franchise. Allen C. Mason had 
applied some time before for the franchise and later had joined 
his efforts M'ith Bennett. Their appeal then became a subject 
of discussion which continued for many months, there being con- 
siderable opposition to the plan of using horses as motive power. 
The public wanted electricity. Bennett finally withdrew the 
franchise but later reinstated it, and January 8, 1887, it was 
passed after having been twice passed over Mayor jNIann's veto. 
The franchise called for tracks on Pacific Avenue from Jeffer- 
son to Ninth, then to C Street, following C Street to Tacoma 
Avenue and out that street to McCarver Street and to Old 
Tacoma. The council dilly-dallied with the question still fur- 
ther when Bennett and INIason sought to have the ordinance 

\f>i. I— 'jr. 


amended to permit them to use electric motors instead of horses. 
]\Ionths of controversy followed. Councilmen accused Bennett 
and ]Mason of insincerity, saying they did not intend to build a 
line, thoueh their material then was on the way. The electrical 
enterprise was given up by the ]:>romoters after they had sent 
Engineer P. O. Bean East to make a study of motors and trans- 
mission, as Bean reported that electrical current could not be 
carried more than three miles with economy. In thirty years 
science has learned how to carry it scores of miles. INIason and 
Bennett had procured water rights on Chambers Creek, where 
they intended to have a hydroelectric plant whose product was 
to propel all the street cars of the various lines they expected to 
build. That scheme was deprived of its underpinning by the 
Bean report. Then there was some discussion of steam motors, 
or dummy engines, but there was opposition from the merchants 
who feared cinders and soot. Tlie power question therefore 
reverted back to the mule. Bennett and INIason fin-nished all the 
money for the Pacific Avenue and C Street lines. They placed 
no mortgages and issued no bonds. Both of them had almost 
unlimited credit. 

When on February 3, 1887, Judges Turner and Langford of 
the State Supreme Court declared the woman suffrage law 
unconstitutional, there was a wave of indignation throughout the 
state scarcely equaled before or since. 

The judges invalidated the law on the ground that the title 
was defective. Judge Green dissented. The matter came before 
the court in the case of Jefferson J. Harland, a gambler who had 
been indicted and convicted in Pierce County for fleecing one 
J. C. Livensparger out of $610 in a dice game. Some of the 
members of the grand jury which indicted him were women. 
Elwood Evans was attorney for Harland and he carried the case 
to the Supreme Court, not particularly on the question of the 
jight of women to serve as grand jurors, but he was urged by 
the judges to discuss the case from that standpoint. 

Evans finished his argument on a JNIonday afternoon and the 
court's decision, embracing 15,000 words, was handed down 
the following Thursday morning. Immediately the question was 
raised, how could an opinion of such a length have been prepared 


in so short a time? The public believed the opinion had been made 
ready before the case was argued. The decision was most bit- 
terly denounced all over the state. The people believed that the 
Supreme Court was dealing in trivialities and that upon a mere 
quibble an important law had been overthrown. It resulted in 
the severe denunciation of the two members of the bench and in 
drastic criticism of the federal judiciary and re-aroused, Mith 
much greater tension the determination to make a state of the 
territory as quickly as possible. 

A sidelight on the case is that Harland's wife procured a 
divorce from him on the ground of his conviction. About a year 
later he undertook to marry another woman in Portland and the 
question then was raised whether the divorce was effective, the 
Suj^reme Court having set aside his conviction. Harland, how- 
ever, was not seriously disturbed by this contention and pro- 
ceeded with his matrimonial designs. 

Electric lights were first turned on in tlie streets of Tacoma 
December 26, 188(). The current was generated by a small water 
power plant in connection with the Tacoma Light & Water 
Company's pumping machine in Galliher's Gulch, The first 
machinery was not efficient and there was much complaint over 
the failure of the company to meet the public expectations. The 
street lights were sold for $12 a month, but tlie proud little 
community had to have a few. In JNIarch of 1887 commercial 
arc lights were furnished; rate to midnight, $10 a month; all 
night, $14. IMeantime the gas business had been developing 
rapidly. The first gas range did not come to Tacoma until 
April, 1891. It was put on exhibition in the company's offices 
at 915 Railroad, now Commerce Street, and hundreds of per- 
sons went to examine it. The increasing business of the concern 
caused the consolidation of the electric plant with the gas plant 
on the present site of the gas works at Twenty-first and Dock 

A. J. Littlejohn, who came overland from Indiana in 18.)2 
at the age of eight years, took over Oakwood Cemetery, platted 
it and began selling lots. He had been in the undertaking busi- 
ness for some time, though when he first came to Tacoma, in 
1878, he was a carpenter, and while stumps still stood in Pacific 


Avenue he constructed some of the pioneer store buildings. 
When he took over the land for the cemetery from John Rigney 
he found a number of unmarked graves in the tangled brush. 
In earlier days they had been buried and forgotten. 









Hope and enthusiasm received an even greater impetus 
when on March 2.5, 1887, Vice President Thomas" F. Oakes 
announced the intention of the Northern Pacific Raih'oad to 
build a switch-back over the summit of the Cascades and not 
wait for the completion of the tunnel to bring the transcon- 
tinental line directly to the Sound. Tacoma celebrated. They 
hauled out two 24-pound guns and fired them again and again. 
One of these guns was from the old Russian ship Politkofsky, 
which had come to the United States with the purchase of 
Alaska. The Politkofsky was a small gunboat and had been 
taken to California where she was sold to INIeiggs, of the Port 
Madison Mill Company, and later on W. C. Wallace, superin- 
tendent of that company, had sent the gim to Geo. O. Kelly in 
Tacoma in 1878, to celebrate another great occasion — the open- 
ing of the coal road. On the trunion of this old gun appeared 
the legend "Acres, 1850." It fired a ball weighing 24 pounds, 
using four pounds of powder. It weighed 2,200 pounds and was 
mounted on a wooden cari-ia^e M'itli four cast iron wheels. Kellv 
some years later gave the historic gun to the Ferry ^Museum, and 
it now guards the doorway of the State Historical Society's 
handsome building. The Politkofskv was built in Alaska. It 
is asserted that her machinery was made there out of copper by 


the patient Russian workmen, who mined and smelted it, and 
worked it into boilers and engines, and that the vessel later made 
a trip to San Francisco where her copper machinery was sold for 
a sum sufficient to refit her and to pay for the entire cost of her 
construction besides. 

JNIore than two thousand men were employed on the 
tunnel and switchback, and the rapid progress made on both of 
them gave promise of direct connection with the East much 
sooner than the sanguine had predicted. The first track was 
laid on the switchback March 28, and the last spike was driven at 
6:02 P. M., June 1, 1887, on the sununit of the mountains. 
Assistant General Manager J. ]M. Buckley w^as master of cere- 
monies and Mrs. H. S. Huson, wife of the assistant engineer, 
broke a bottle of champagne over the last spike. She and several 
other women tapped the spike with the heavy hammer, though 
]Mrs. Huson missed it the first time. Buckley delivered the fin- 
ishing strokes, and each blow was registered in the St. Paul 
offices, as an operator stood near by with his instrument and he 
struck his key each tnne the sledge fell. This was indeed the 
final spike. It was not the golden "last" spike which Villard had 
driven in jNIontana several years before amid banquetting and a, 
vast jDublicity, but in reality the final spike that tied to its bed the 
last rail connecting Puget Sound directly with St. Paul and the 

Tacoma was beginning to realize upon her patient expecta- 
tions. The next step on her progi'am was to celebrate, on a 
lavish scale, the consummation of her dream, and the date there- 
for was set for July 4. Isaac W. Anderson was made chairman 
of the committee on arrangements. They set about the formu- 
lating of a program which, even in her later and greater da^^s, 
Tacoma scarcely has equalled. They filled the mails with hand- 
some invitations to the leading business and professional men of 
America. Replies of acceptance or regrets soon began coming. 
Some of these were from President Cleveland, Bill Nve, Jav 
Cooke, General Gibbon, Postmaster General Vilas, Roscoe 
Conkling, Admiral David Porter and Kate Field. It became 
evident very quickly that an enormous crowd would attend the 
celebration, and that the switchback was attracting national 


attention. ^lany persons came from great distances to travel 
over it on the first train. Among those who came was Hon. T. L. 
Stiles, for many years prominent in northwestern affairs. 

jNlrs. T. L. Xixon was the first woman who came over the 
switchback. The first train to arrive in Tacoma by the new route 
came June 6. It consisted of a baggage car, caboose and immi- 
grant car. June 7, a train of parlor cars carrying C. B. Wright 
and party came across. 

Nicholas Lawson had been sent up to superintend the switch- 
back. His first task was the practical rebuilding of it, as the 
contractor liad constructed it while the snow was on the ground 
and the eartli frozen. The spring thaws left it dangerous. 
When trains began running over it Lawson had general charge. 
The conductor who managed the trains was Arthur D. Sweet. 
Great responsibility rested upon these men. At jNIartin on the 
east side and Stampede on the w^est, the special mountain engines 
superseded the locomotives of the lower levels, and the crews 
gave way to the crews especially picked for the hazardous jour- 
ney of eight miles over the summit. A decapod of 224,000 
pounds and a "hog" of 90 tons could liaul five passenger coaches, 
or five loaded freight cars, over the eight miles in an hour and 
fifteen minutes, if all went well. There were three switches on 
each side of the mountain, and on the summit was a great double 
horseshoe curve. Each train had a front and a rear locomotive. 
The grade was 297 feet to the mile. Airbrakes and handbrakes 
M^ere used, and the locomotives w^ere equipped witli water- 
brakes, which were of incalculable value. 

The switchback was regulated by the strictest of mles. Bv 
use of the telejihone the trains were blocked across the mountain. 
At each switch a switchman received receipt for the passing- 
train. There was a brakeman for every two cars. Speed was 
kept at a minimum. Equipment was inspected minutely and 
frequently. The automatic air was used in ascending and the 
straight air in descending, hut the rules instnicted the men not 
to depend upon the airbrake, but to keep the handbrakes in good 
order at all times and to use tliem. 

All was working smoothly when the first regular overland 
train left Tacoma for the East at 1 :4.5 P. M., July 3. Richard 


Walsh was tlie conductor and C. W. Mock was baggage and 
express agent. Their run was to Pasco. The train consisted of 
four coaches and they carried twenty passengers. A cannon 
thundered from the bluff and crowds cheered as the train moved 
out. At 7:15 that same daj^ the first regular westbound train 
arrived here, about seven hours late. It consisted of 13 coaches 
and it carried 600 passengers. The transfer of this heavy train 
over the switchback was a great task and caused much delay. 
Most of the passengers were from eastern Washington and 
Idaho. They came West to see the switchback, and to celebrate 
with Tacoma the completion of the line. They, too, were wel- 
comed bv the voice of the old cannon on the ])lufr and bv the 
cheering multitude. By the morning of the Fourth the town was 
so full of visitors that the stores filled their aisles with cots for 
their night accommodation. 

A great triumphal arch spanned Pacific Avenue at Eleventh 
Street, with American and British flags intermingled, a special 
honor to H. INI. S. Caroline, whicli had come to take part 
in the festivities. Her commander was Sir William Wiseman, 
who had given to Gilbert and Sullivan the groundwork for their 
famous opera, "Pinafore." The stores were covered with flags, 
and some of them had gone to heavy expense to construct spec- 
tacular effects. Gross Bros, had an engine above their door, 
and from the stack of it poured billows of smoke. 

On the site of the Stadium High School a 2>avilion was built 
to hold 6,500 persons. Its stage seated more than 200. All this 
was none too large, for there were no fewer than 18,000 visitors 
here that day. 

On the Fourth there was a great parade, Avith Col. J. C. 
Haines as grand m.arshal. The military, lodges, firemen from 
several Northwest cities, bands and other organizations took 
part, and there were many wagons filled with from ten to twenty 
Indians each. A feature of this section of the parade were sixty 
little Indian babes at their mothers' breasts. Gen. JNIarcellus 
Spot led the Indians. 

At the pavilion a choiiis of 100 voices and a great orchestra, 
all under the direction of Governor Laughton, opened the exer- 
cises with "Gloria," from jNIozart's Twelfth Mass. The Caro- 


line then fired 21 guns as a marlv of respect to tlie Republic and 
to Taconia, and immediately a serio-comic aspect was given to 
the proceedings, as the very next number on the program was 
the reciting of the Declaration of Independence by JMiss Flor- 
ence JNIolinelli, a western actress of much ability and great 
popularity. Slie had memorized the immortal document and she 
delivered it with great feeling, hurling at King George the best 
irony that was in her. The British commander and his officers, 
stiffly sitting on the stage, immediately became the cynosure of 
some 6,000 pairs of eyes. If the Britishers had up and marched 
off the stage few in the vast audience would have been surprised. 
As JNIiss iMollinelli proceeded she grew more and more intense. 
The audience cheered again and again, and with each round of 
applause the solemn British officers pounded the stage with their 
scabbards, as if they too were happy over the scoring that a dead 
English king was receiving that day from the vivacious actress. 

Governor Semple was the orator of the day. Major Hen- 
dershot, "the drummer boy of the Rappahanock," and his son, 
were introduced to tlie audience and the major gave an exhibi- 
tion of his art. JNIayor James Fell, of Victoria ; ]Mayor ^McLean, 
of Vancouver, B. C; Vice President Oakes, of the Xorthern 
Pacific; C. B. Wright and other notables were on the stage. 

That night there was a great illumination. Chinese lanterns 
had been suspended the whole length of Pacific Avenue. There 
was a torchlight parade and elaborate fireworks. Burning 
torches illuminated the Caroline. 

For three days the festivities continued, with athletics, shoot- 
ing matches, horse races and firemen's contests. Eagle Hose 
Company of Old Tacoma won the "wet test" in 38l/o seconds. 
The "wet test" consisted of running 660 feet, connecting with a 
hydrant and throwing w^ater. The "dry test" was won by a 
Vancouver, B. C, company in 421/) seconds. A squabble arose 
in tlie firemen's contests over the right of Struve, one of the 
Seattle firemen to participate, it being charged that he was a 
professional runner, whicli in fact he was. Some two years 
before he had run a race in Tacoma with Halstead, and had 
carried a 50-pound sack of flour on his slioulders as a liandicap. 

There was mucli conjectm-e over the question of winter 


travel over the switchback, and as a precaution Lawson built 
two enormous wooden plows. With five locomotives coupled 
together and a plow at each end, he undertook to drive through 
and was making fair headway when Division Superintendent 
Cole came up and boarded the train. He was horrified at the 
sj)eed the outfit had to develop to "buck" the drifts, and he 
unceremoniously ordered the road abandoned until two Leslie 
rotaries should arrive from St. Paul. The wait contirmed for 
ten days. These rotaries were the first ever built and they, too, 
attracted national attention. Stories of how they ripped through 
the immense drifts were read all over the United States. With 
all its dangers the switchback never cost a life, though two wrecks 
occurred. A locomotive got away and dashed down one leg of 
the switchback and into two carloads of powder. The powder 
was frozen and did not explode. But locomotive and cars were 
demolished. An attempt w^as made to put one of the Mogul 
engines of 60 tons over the summit, with a car of lumber. The 
engine began slip2)ing, soon was beyond control and at a curve 
on a trestle leaned into a canyon some seventv-five feet below. 
One of Conductor Sweet's difficult tasks was that of i^utting 
over the summit Cole Brothers' circus, which was done without 
mishap. The locomotive engineers who worked on the switch- 
back were Jolin Benson, Jas. Foster, Harry Eldridge and Bob 

The summit was 3,664 feet above the sea, and 1,150 feet 
higher than the west portal of the tunnel, and 1,123 feet higher 
than the east portal. The altitude of the tunnel is 2,800 feet. 
The switchback grade was 296 feet to the mile. 

The com])letion of the switchback turned gloom into pros- 
perity. Perhaps the experience of the Tacoma Hotel w^as, gen- 
erally speaking, the experience of other business institutions. 
The Tacoma Hotel had about 100 guests daily the first sum- 
mer after it was completed, but through the winter the jium- 
ber dwindled to a score, and in the spring of '87 it liad 
diminished to ten, and there were then just five times as many 
employes as guests in the handsome establishment. 

Among the attractions of the community in those days was 
"Jack," a bear whose habitat was a cage in the rear of the hotel, 


The large structure was the Chamlier of Commerce Building 


and whose foravs i>'ave to him and the town a national renown. 
Stories about "Jack" appeared all over the country. Now and 
then the bear would break out of his enclosure and walk into the 
hotel; or perhaps he would go for a walk through the business 
district. One night, dragging his chain, he waddled over into 
Pacific Avenue and up the carpeted stairway of a lodging house 
where his funiblings soon awakened the frightened proprietor 
and his guests, whose shouts attracted a police officer. That 
official refused to meddle with the animal and hastened to the 
Tacoma Hotel to awaken M. J. Riley, the steward, who was 
indeed about the only person w^ho could manage "Jack." Riley, 
however, could not induce the brute to descend the stairs. The 
usual forms of bribeiy availed him nothing and manhandling 
seemed only to increase his stubbornness. Riley finally thought 
of "Jack's" fear of a barrel and one was procured. As Riley rolled 
the cylinder down the hallway the bear moved toward the stairs, 
and started down slowly. When Riley reached the steps he lost 
control of the barrel and it rolled down upon the bear, and the 
terrified animal ripped the stair carpet away from its fastening 
from top to bottom, depriving Riley of his footing, and bear, 
barrel, Riley and carpet landed on the sidewalk, much inter- 

The pleasant summer evenings again drew attention to the 
long hours kept by the merchants and July 11th an agreement was 
made by w^hich the stores were to be closed at 8 P. INI., and on 
Sundays, A merchants' association had been formed with S. jNI. 
Nolan as president. Nolan was a progressive and prosperous 
merchant and he had just built a fine residence on St. Helens 
Avenue, just north of Sixth Street, with terraces and an iron 
fountain: The merchants belonging to the association and sign- 
ing the agreement were S. M. Nolan, H. D. and INI. E. Thomas, 
John S. Baker & Co., D. A. Powell, H. Isaacs, Cliarles Reichen- 
bach, Turrell, Eggert h Co., — whicli under the name of Turrell 
Bros., still is in ])usiness in the same })lace — F. G. Runge, Taylor 
& Hare, Kaufman & Berliner, Dickson Bros., Gross Bros., Row- 
land & Ilotclikiss, II. Ilohenschikl, S. Isaac & Bro., Jolm INIac- 
ready & Co. and Hunt & ^Mottet. The Hunt l^ Mottet firm 
had been formed only a short time before. Two builchno- and 


loan associations had been formed. J. ]M. Buckley was suc- 
ceeded by S. 11. Ainslie as superintendent of the raih'oad, J. S. 
Howell was building a number of fine houses on D Street north 
of Ninth, and November 1, 1887, free mail delivery was estab- 
lished. With this the Old Tacoma postoffice went out of being. 
The Fannie C. Paddock hospital, which for years had been doing 
a great work, was incorporated by Bishop John A. Paddock, 
Rev. A. S. Nicholson, father of City Engineer L. A. Nichol- 
son, Rev. L. H. Wells, now a bishop resident in Tacoma, George 
R. Delprat, J. ]M. Buckley, J. W. Sprague, W. J. Thompson, 
H. C. Bostwick, James JNl. Ashton, Mayor Ira Town, Jacob 
Mann, Frederick JNIottet, George E. Atkinson, W. B. Black- 
well and W. D. Tyler, and plans immediately were set afoot 
for the erection of a new building to cost $23,000. Up to this 
time the institution had been in Old Tacoma, at the corner of 
Tacoma Avenue and Starr Street. It occupied a two-story 
building that had been a notorious dance hall or "mad house." 
The shifting of the population and the miserable roads encouraged 
the friends of the hospital to choose the lots where the great 
modern hospital building now stands on K Street, a monument 
to S. M. Jackson and others who provided the money. The 
hospital cost about $2.50,000, the principal donors being William 
Virges, Anton Huth, Chester Thorne, William R. Rust, S. A. 
Perkins, William Jones, Bank of California, C. H. Jones, the 
Griggs estate, ]Mrs. Robert L. ]McCormick, John Scott, Robert 
McCormick, Cliarles H. Hyde, the Weyerhaeuser Timber Com- 
pany and Hugh Wallace. The hospital has 150 beds. After 
while two wings will be built that will almost treble its capacity. 
Plans are now under way for a nurses' home. The old Fannie 
Paddock Hospital had 100 beds in a dangerous .building. The 
new^ structin'e is as nearly fireproof as possible. It has sixty-four 
nurses, with INIrs. Rose Settles in charge. W. A. Smith is 
manager, with a staff of twenty prominent physicians and 
surgeons headed bv Dr. Charles jNIcCreery as an advisory board. 
This hospital is the only one on the coast that furnishes an 
anesthetist. This operator is INIiss Elysia Thomas, who was 
brought from Milwaukee. She has administered ether to more 
than 8,000 j^atients — a record that can be equalled by few 


S. M. Jackson, manager of the Bank of California, was the 
spirit behind the movement that built this hospital. When he 
was elected president of the old Fannie Paddock Hospital in 
191*2 it was a surprise to him. The conduct of a hospital was 
far from his expectations and desires, but he took hold under the 
pressure of friends who said the institution needed financial 
direction, and about the first step he took was to send G. H. 
Raleigh, who lately became assistant manager of the bank, to 
look over the books, as Jackson, after a very cursory review of 
them, had concluded that something was wrong. Within a week 
Raleigh found that a sj^stematic process of robbery had been 
pursued to the point of bankrupting the hospital. Indeed, it 
had reached a condition of insolvency. Breaking up the thieving 
cabal was the matter of but a short time. Some of its members 
are still resorting beyond the Canadian line for safety's sake. 
Raleigh introduced new systems, himself standing giiard to see 
to their enforcement, losses soon were turned into profits, 
and then it was possible for Jackson to place before the business 
men his plans for a greater institution. His personal popularity- 
had much to do with his success in getting money, but at the 
same time he was prepared to show that a real need existed, and 
men like Virges, Thorne and the rest of that company never balk 
when a real need is shown. 

A proposal from the owners of the Williams Cannery in Old 
Tacoma to reopen it with Chinese labor reopened the Chinese 
question, though there were few indeed who were ready to wel- 
come the re-entry of the Chinese. Some of those citizens who 
were most sharply opposed to the expulsion now were outspoken 
in their antipathy to the return of the Chinese. The cannery- 
men agi-eed to employ only half a dozen or so, and house them 
apart from the whites. The community would have none of it 
and the effort to reopen the plant failed. It never had been a 
success, being too far from the fishing grounds. 

The community in November, 1887, again suffered from 
fire when the Tacoma Lumber & Manufacturing Company at 
the head of the bay burned, with a loss of $40,000. The Talok 
Mill, owned by John Carson, on Center Street, had burned only 
a short time before. The loss of these plants seriously affected 


the pa} roll. The Tacoma Lumber & ^lanufacturmg Comj^any 
was owned by Paul A. Paulson. He and C. Anderson had 
established the concern in 1883. Paulson bought Anderson out 
and called it the Tacoma Planing Mills. Henry Drum later 
owned an interest in the plant which was important to the town, 
not merely on account of its payroll of some sixty men, but 
because it Mas developing an important industry in buckets, 
tubs, churns, rollingpins, fish kits, step ladders, butter molds, 
mantels and stairs, these being sold over a wide area. Mr. 
Paulson was a progressive and good citizen. He now lives in 
Spokane. Henry Drum is warden of the state's prison in Walla 

The community just then was preening itself, in spite of 
its painful fire losses, over the fact that the Polk directory agents 
announced that the book would contain 5,305 names, whicli, 
multij)lied by the usual multiple of 2l/), gave a total popu- 
lation of 12,000. In seven years the population had increased 
1,600 per cent as, in 1880, there were 720 persons in the town. 
The postoffice receipts were $4,248 greater than in 1884, while 
Seattle's showed a decrease of $486. 

On Thanksgiving day R. F. Radebaugh plucked a bouquet 
of roses from his garden and sent it to the New York World, 
which newspaper was so astonished that it gave the flowers and 
the climate editorial attention. This corner of the realm was 
manv vears in convincing- the remainder that it was not blank- 
eted with ice some six months out of the twelve, and unto this 
day the opinion that it is, prevails in a few benighted spots. 

The first fullrigged four-mast ship, the Wendur, came to 
Tacoma December 7, 1887, to load 3.000 tons of wheat. She 
was of iron, 330 feet in length, 48 feet in breadth, 24 feet depth 
of hold, and her tonnage, 1.894. Her masts were of iron and 
she carried a crew of thirty-four. Owing to unusual Avinds she 
was twentv-four hours incoming from Port Townsend, in tow 
of tlie towboat Holyoke. She was under charter to the Port- 
land Shipping Company, and her coming was a signal for a 
renewal of rejoicing over the progress of the port. Other ships 
here at tliis time were the W. F. Babcock, Alex. Gibson, Reaper, 
Eurvdice, Alcinius, Memnon, Oregon, Wrestler, Charles B. 


Keniiey; John Worster, Seminole, Melrose, Two Brothers, J. 
B. Walker, Yoseniite — sixteen in all. The year's building 
record embraced 340 structures, thirty of which were brick busi- 
ness blocks and 203 residences, the total value being $818,007. 

The Church of the Holy Conmiunion was formed, taking 
over St. John's Chapel, on K, near Nineteenth, and calling Rev. 
L. H. Wells as rector. The vestrymen were L. E. Post, Fred- 
erick jNIottet, O. B. Young, F. G. Plummer, and J. Rendle. 

A function attended by a great many Tacomans was the 
opening of the ne\v building at the Hospital for the Insane at 
Steilacoom late in December. The building had just been com- 
pleted at a cost of $100,000 by the trustees, Geo. D. Shannon, 
A. F, Tullis and W. H. Pumphre}-. ^Members of the legisla- 
ture came up on the steamer Hayward to view the structure, 
which had been built within the appropriation and with $80 to 
spare. Four hundred persons had dinner in the big dining 
room. Governor Semple was present. ^Irs. Frank Allyn and 
]Miss G'vissie Sears sang and Stella Galliher played the piano. 
The asylum band of eleven pieces added to the gaiety of the night' 
which ended at 6:30 the next morning when the last dancer left 
the floor, and the Tacomans started homeward in their carriages. 
The occasion was marred somewhat by the failure of the electric 
light plant in the midst of the festivities. Candles were lighted, 
but tliere were not enough and Trustee Tullis sent one ^NIcGuire 
down to Steilacoom for more. iNIcGuire demanded $19 for 
his services, and Tullis demurred. A day or so later ]McGuire 
went to Tullis' office here in Tacoma and gave him a terrible 

The lumber cut in Tacoma in 1887 reached a total of 87,371,- 
141 feet. Eighty-five cargoes had been taken from the Tacoma 
Mill. Fifty-seven vessels had taken 212,969 tons of coal. The 
postoffice receipts were $13,549. The town had thirteen miles 
of water mains, nine miles of electric wires and 1,225 children 
in scliool. The real estate transfers amounted to $2,078,531. In 
]882 they had been $573,406; in 1883, $1,392,296; in 1884, 
$1,027,911; in 1885, $667,356; in 1886, $747,371. 

Rev. S. A. Eliot, son of the famous Harvard president, 
preached the funeral sermon of JNIrs. Walter J. Thompson early 


in January, 1888, in the Unitarian Church. This was the first 
service in this church, which now is known as the Tacoma ^lusic 
Hall. Places of business closed for the funeral and flags were 
at half mast. jNIany members of the legislature of which Mr. 
Thompson was a member, came from Olympia to attend the 
services. The church was built to seat 225 persons, and had a 
stage, and a kitchen and Sunday school rooms in the basement. 
It Mas the first Tacoma church to affect these modern con- 
veniences, Avhich were due to Walter J. Thompson's promise 
to help liberally if they were introduced, his idea being to make 
an all- week possibility of it, instead of a mere Sunday plant. 
The first services of this sect had been held in Tacoma August 30, 
1884, by Rev. G. H. Greer, and the congregation used the 
Y. M. C. A. rooms until ordered out, because it was not an evan- 
gelical body. Bishop Paddock immediately gave to the little 
congregation the use of the Episcopal school house on St. Helens 
Avenue, where the Hyson now stands. Augoist 30, 188.5, the 
church was formally organized with fifteen members, and for 
many years has contributed largely to the intellectual growth of 
the community. 

There was rejoicing among the women, shared by a large 
number of men who deplored the ruling of the Supreme Court on 
the equal suffrage law some time before, when the news came 
from Olympia that the state assembly again had given the ballot 
to women, the council by a vote of 8 to 3, and the house, 14 to 9. 
This act rearoused in the editorial columns of the state the bitter 
criticism that had been directed toward Judge Turner when the 
preceding law was declared invalid. But the women were not 
long to enjoy their new privileges as the equal franchise law 
^vas wiped out w^hen the territory became a state in 1889. 






January 13, 1888, brought one of the most severe storms that 
Tacoma ever had known. Shipping was seriously delayed by 
the heavy seas. Damage was done to buildings and wires, and 
log booms were sundered and scattered. The weather grew 
bitterly cold, water pipes froze, and vessels were covered with ice 
to the tops of the wheelhouses. 

Early in February the Tacoma Dock & Warehouse Company 
started work on a new warehouse to double its holding capacity. 
Long trains of wheat had been arriving from Eastern AVash- 
ington ever since the completion of the first warehouse in Octo- 
ber, 1887. jNIan}" cargoes had been loaded and sent to sea, but 
the company found its facilities still inadequate. The plans pro- 
vided for a building 450 by 150 feet in size. 

After numerous delays, caused by tlie troubles which arise in 
the esta])lishment of nearly all new industries, electric current was 
turned into wires of the arc light system on the evening of Feb- 
ruary 13 and Tacoma streets presented a metro])olitan appear- 
ance. The new lights, which were of 16-candle power, were on 
Pacific Avenue at Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fif- 
teenth, Sevcnteeth, Nineteenth, Twenty-first and Twcnty-tliird; 
on D Street at Ninth, Eleventh and Fifteenth ; on Tacoma ^Vv- 
enue at Ninth, Eleventh and Fifteenth and on the railroad wharf, 
and in Old Tacoma. 

When Bish()i)s Fowler and Foss and Rev. ,T. F. DeVore and 


Vol. 1—26 


D. G. LeSourd decided, February 23, to establish a ]Methodist 
university in Tacoma they not only settled a question which had 
for some time been prominently before the people of the state, 
but brought this city to the attention of the JNIethodists all over 
the United States. 

The articles incorporating the Puget Sound Universit}^ were 
filed in the auditor's office jNIarch 17 and provided for the election 
of twenty trustees. The bishop residing nearest to Tacoma, the 
presiding elder of the district and the mayor, were made ex-officio 
members, the otlier eighteen to be elected for three years each. 
It was provided that a majority of the board should be residents 
of Pierce County and that all of them should be JNIethodists. 
Immediately a meeting was held in the Hotel Tacoma and elected 
C. S. Barlow, Theodore Hosmer, W. D. Tyler, D. G. LeSourd, 
J. F. DeVore, W. H. Fife, A. C. Smith, Allen C. ]Mason, Thomas 
J. ISIassey, John S. ^McMillan, Rufus Willard, F. S. Williams, 
David Lister, J. D. Caughran, C. P. JNIasterson, I. W. Anderson, 
T. C. Sears and W. H. Sampson. Bishop Charles H. Fowler 
and Presiding Elder H. D. Brown completed the board. 

The Methodist conference of 1886 had decided to place the 
school in Port Townsend, provided that town would raise an 
endowment fund of $50,000. This the Port Townsend people 
did not do and when, at the Olympia conference in September, 
1887, the question again was brought up for consideration. 
Bishops Fowler, Foss and Warren and Revs. DeVore, LeSourd, 
Loy and Dillon were appointed as a committee with power to 
choose the site which, in their judgment, seemed best. 

The matter had been put before Tacomans in an earnest way 
at a mass meeting in the Alpha Opera House September 6, 1887, 
by W. H. Fife, I. W. Anderson and others who had great faith 
in the community value of the proposed institution. Vigorous 
talks were made at that meeting by jNIayor Town, W. D. Tyler, 
T. L. Nixon, Rev. Mr. Massey, C. P. Ferry, David Wilson, W. 
H. Cushing, James Wickersham and others and before the gath- 
ering had adjourned a strong affirmative sentiment had been 
aroused. Fife urged that $2.5,000 in cash and $7o,000 worth of 
land be offered. Seattle was after the institution, and the charge 
was made there that Port Townsend's offer had not received fair 


consideration, though it was pointed out that wholly disintei-- 
ested men had examined the proffers. Among those who insisted 
that Port Townsend's $50,000 honus was not in substantial values 
was Rev. A. J. Hanson, pastor of the First ]M. F. Church in 
Seattle. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer at once undertook to 
organize a boycott of ]Mr. Hanson and other influences sought to 
have him removed to another field, but when the matter reached 
the ears of the bishop he promptly reassigned Hanson to the 
First Church, and then, by way of salting the sore, he sent 
to Seattle as presiding elder. Rev. Mr. jNIassey, who was known 
as the father of the movement to establish the school in Tacoma. 

Tlie Tacoma Citizens' Conmiittee which was raising the 
$75,000 endowment fund found the people ready to contribute 
and had no trouble in procuring the pledges for this amount oL* 
cash or land, the large contributors being C. P. Masterson, R. F. 
Radebaugh, Thomas L. Nixon, W. D. Tyler, G. F. Orchard, 
J. D. Caughran, Allen C. JNIason, J. M. Steele, John S. INIcjMil- 
lan, I. W. Anderson, David Lister, W. J. Thompson, T. F. 
Oakes, Peter Irving, and Theodore Hosmer, $500 each; C. S. 
Barlow and C. Catlin, $250 each; Edmund Pierce and Gross 
Brothers, $200 each; T. B. Wallace, Jr., McClain, Wade & Com- 
pany, Stuart Rice, H. C. Clement, Charles Reichenbach, H. D. k 
M. E. Thomas, John S. Baker, L. E. Sampson, Hunt & INIottet. 
J. C. Weatherred, ]M. F. Hatch, A. J. Little John, Ira A. Town, 
Huntington & Lytic, S. A. Wheelwright, E. X. Ouimette, Ed- 
ward Huggins, James Wickersham, Charles Langert and Harry 
M. Ball $100 each; Dickson Brothers, D. P. Lewis, E. C. 
Vaughan & Company, Robert Kahler, William G. Blewett, A. B. 
Stewart & Brother, Harry Morgan, IMcKone & Company, 
Fawcett Brothers, jM. M. Taylor, William Page, F. T. French, 
John INIacready & Company, F. S. Harmon, George P. Eaton, 
L. E. Post, C. L. Hoska, Peters & ^Miller and W. G. Rowland, 
$50 each; H. Hohenschild, J., P. Chilberg and W. E. Robertson, 
$25 each; Charles B. Wright, $10,000. 

Large amounts of land were pledged, some of tlie contrib- 
utors being W. II. Fife et al., $34,800; Tacoma Land Com])any, 
$15,000; C. S. Barlow, $2,300: J. F. DeVore, $1,000; W. H. 
Sampson, $800: E. Sikes, $700; AVilliam Cusliman and William 


Thompson, $200 each; C. P. Ferry, $150; F. E. Eldridge and 
^I. INI. Taylor, $100 each. It was announced that building would 
begin about June 8th, and that something like $100,000 would 
be expended on the first structures. 

The committee appointed to raise the fund was composed of 
Messrs. Xixon, Ferry, Caughran, jNIason, Barlow, Wheelwright 
and Clement, and it did its work rapidly as it w^as ready in a little 
more than two months to report that it had raised $25,000 cash 
and had offerings of $50,525 in lands. 

The corner stone of what then was expected to be a series of 
fine buildings w^as laid September 16, by Bishop Bow^man, of 
St. Louis, assisted by Rev. H. D. Brown, presiding elder of the 
Tacoma District; Rev. W. H. Drake, presiding elder of the 
Seattle District, the trustees of the college, visiting ministers 
and others. When the building reached the third story the col- 
lege ran out of money. A question over its titles prevented 
the sale of some of its property. W. D. Tyler led a campaign 
that made completion of the building possible. In after years 
this building was sold to the city for $60,000 and it now is the 
Logan School. The university then occupied an apartment 
building on the southwest corner of Ninth and G streets and 
another building at Tenth Street and Yakima Avenue. A large 
tract of land, partly donated, was acquired at Lemon's Beach 
where the hopeful promoters expected to establish a second 
Evanston, but the dream failed for lack of money. 

The university w^as opened June 16, 1890, with B. B. Chering- 
ton, A. M., D. D., president and professor of history and 
logic; R. S. Bingham, A. M., professor of Greek and Latin and 
principal of the academic department; Miss E. M. Ladd, A. M., 
professor of English language and literature and preceptress; 
W. L. ^lalone, A. ^I., professor of mathematics; E. H. Car- 
ney, penmanship; Fay E. Wheeler, typewriter; Mrs. Mary E. 
Gates, B. ^I., instrumental music; ^liss ^lay V. Gibbons, vocal 
culture: ]Mrs. Arnold, art. June 24, 1891, the university gradu- 
ated its first class, the exercises being conducted in the First 
^lethodist Church. The members of the class were Misses Edith 
Hyde, Bessie Bingham, Gertrude Phipps and Messrs. G. W. 
Freeman, D. S. Colp, A. M. Hovey and F. M. Halstead. 


Later on a church committee determined to amalgamate the 
University of Puget Sound with Willamette Universit}^ and 
moved headquarters to Portland, but this proved unsatisfactory 
and March 7, 1899, the universitv — or what was left of it — re- 
turned to Tacoma. Its alumni, while not strong numerically, 
were full of faith and affection, and they, organized by C. O. 
Bover, Rev. F. A. LaViolette and O. C. Whitnev, raised a fund 
after much sacrifice with which to buy the building at Ninth and G 
streets which the institution formerly had occupied. In 1902 this 
building was sold and the present site bought. In 190.3 the first 
building was erected at a cost of $20,000. Dr. E. jNI. Randall was 
president in 1904. He was followed by Dr. Joseph E. Williams, 
a man of fine leadership. Then came Prof. L. L. Benbow, who 
has served several terms as covmty superintendent of schools, 
Dr. Julius C. Zeller. and Dr. Edward H. Todd. Doctor Zeller 
was an educator of unusual force, a man of large intellect and 
pleasing personality. Upon his retirement he attended Chicago 
University to get his Ph. D. degree and then removed to a large 
plantation near Yazoo City, JNIiss. Doctor Todd had been pres- 
ident of Willamette University. He possesses unusual abilities 
as a procurer of funds and has an enormous following not only 
among his churchmen but among business men generally. About 
tw'o years ago he brought about the change in name of the institu- 
tion, and it now is called the College of Puget Sound. Doctor 
Todd has succeeded in procuring striking recognition of the 
college from larger institutions and from the state educational 
department, and he has great dreams of an institution, not only 
rich in ideals and educational opportunities but in buildings, and 
recently lie completed a campaign by which he raised $2.50.000, 
of which amount James J. Hill, late president of the Great 
Northern Railroad, gave $50,000, but with tlie condition that 
others give $200,000. All of this money goes into the endowment 
fund and the interest only can be used. 

The collen^e has been blessed with an earnest bodv of students 
and a sacrificing faculty of able men who, if at times their salaries 
were not paid promptly, lost none of their loyalty to their duty. 
The citizens of Tacoma have a fine opportimity to make a great 
educational plant out of this college, and some day it undoubt- 


edly will be altogether worthy of all of the laborious and unsel- 
fish devotion of its faculty, its students and its friends. 

In Judge Allyn's court February 29, jNIrs. Lou Smith and 
Mrs. Lizzie Lewis pleaded giiilty to a charge of smuggling and 
were fined $50 and costs which they paid. The two women, each 
carr} ing a baby, came dow^n the gangplank of the steamer Idaho 
January 31 preceded by one of the boat's men wiio carried a 
large valise belonging to them. Deputy Collector J. H. Price and 
Inspector of Customs J. B. Croake stopped the party and upon 
searching the valise found it to contain forty-five j^ounds of un- 
stamped opium. 

The City Council, January 21, 1888, received a communica- 
tion requesting it to memorialize the Territorial Legislature to 
ask Congress to set aside the land within a radius of twenty miles 
of JNIount Rainier as a national park. The mayor thought the 
name ought to be changed, but jNIr. Kelley remarked that the 
request j^robably would meet a better reception in Olympia if 
"Rainier" were used. This was the beginning of the movement 
which culminated in the setting aside of the present Rainier 
National Park by the federal government. 

The sewer question was prominent in the council deliberations 
at this time. Every train and boat was bringing new people t(» 
the town which was growing rapidly. New houses w^ere building 
in all directions and no sooner was the foundation laid than some 
home seeker either rented or bought the property. This rapid 
growth made the establishment of adequate sewage disposal 
necessary and the council confronted the fact that to provide such 
system would exceed the $30,000 limit of indebtedness. Tlie 
Tacoma Foundry &c Machine Company, which had been organ- 
ized in Xoveniber of the preceding year, was making prepara- 
tions for a heavy year's business. J. C. Ollard arrived from 
Newport, England, and took charge of the business on January 
23, 1888. The Citizens' Land Company, incorporated on Jan- 
uary 23 with a capital of $60,000, elected G. W. Thompson, 
G. R. Osgood, J. B. McMillan and C. W. Johnson as trustees. 
Langford & Bridges, who on December 22, 1887, had been 
awarded the contract to erect the Headquarters Building, 
had fortv-flve men at work. It was estimated that 1,750,000 


brick would be used. The walls were 25 inches thick, and not- 
withstanding bad weather all through January, had, by the end 
of that month, reached the second story. 

Organized to carry on a general mercantile business and for 
the packing and canning of fish, the Alaska Mercantile & Packing 
Company was incorporated March 14 with a capital stock of 
$50,000, the incorporators being A. F. TuUis, William Birming- 
ham, John D. Hogue, A. J. Littlejohn, Samuel R. jNIcGowan, 
W. N. Pratt and William Van Gasken, and its principal place 
of business Tacoma. 

When the ship Reaper, Captain Sawyer, sailed February 1 
for Antwerp with a cargo of 34,230 sacks of wheat, she was 
stocked with stores furnished bv Tacoma dealers and a crew 
signed at this port. Before this time both crews and stores had 
been taken at Port Townsend. The new arrangement meant 
much to Tacoma and was a demonstration of the rising impor- 
tance of the city as a shipping point. The coal shipments for 
January were placed at 15,400 tons, the, greater part of which 
had been furnished by the mines at Carbonado. The city was 
flourishing but Old Tacoma received a blow on the afternoon of 
February 3. Superintendent Atkinson, of the Tacoma jNlill 
Company, closed down the plant and locked out his crew of 250 
workmen. Trouble had been brewing for some three weeks, 
and was caused, the workmen said, by the poor food served in 
the boarding house, operated by the company which required its 
employees to ])atronize the boarding house, the supplies for which 
were bought in San Francisco. Superintendent Atkinson re- 
torted that the trouble was caused by Knights of Labor agitators 
who insisted that the boarding house steward reinstate a dis- 
charged dishwasher. 

Workmen were in demand and every man was given employ- 
ment. January 27 Nelson Bennett had begun laying the C 
Street railway line whh a crew of 140 men, and calling for more. 
Whatever this crew lacked in numbers it made up in organiza- 
tion as a portion of the track was comj)leted on the day the work 
was l)egun. Tiighter steel was used than had been laid on Pacific 
Avenue, but it was said to be a temporary arrangement. Two 
more street railway ordinances were presented for the considera- 


tion of the city council March 3. Eben Pierce and associates 
asked for a franchise for hnes on Eleventh and Thirteenth streets 
from Pacific Avenue to Hall Street, in Ferry's Addition; and 
from the same avenue to Wavne Street in the Coulter Addition; 
also on Railroad Street from Eleventh to Thirteenth. George 
F. Orchard asked for a franchise for an electric line on Eleventh 
Street west from Pacific Avenue to K Street, then to Thirteenth, 
and back to Pacific Avenue. The Suburban ^lotor Line Com- 
pany was incorporated March 8 with Nelson Bennett, H. S. 
Huson, A. A. Honey, John B. Cromwell and L. F. Cook as 
trustees, its object being to build lines into the country tributary 
to the city. On the day the company was organized the county 
commissioners granted it a francliise for a line along the road 
leading to Steilacoom from the juncture of that road with Jeffer- 
son Avenue. The proposed lines were to be operated by electric 

The Tacoma & Fern Hill Street Railway Company was in- 
corporated May 24 b}^ George Browne, R. F. Radebaugh and 
Newman Kline, witli a capital stock of $100,000, and it announced 
tliat it would build a railway from the intersection of Pacific 
Avenue and Delin Street southerly to the Oakes Addition and 
thence southeasterly toward Fern Hill, the line to be built under 
a franchise which tbe council had granted to Radebaugh, and 
on the morning of June 4 the first dirt was thrown. 

In 1881 Radebaugh had taken an 80-acre homestead on 
Wapato I^ake and built a cottage. He was carried to and from 
his office by horse, and at that time there were but two families 
living between his home and town. One was the Tlios. Kenevan 
family and the other that of a war veteran, William H. Lang. 
Radebaugh interested Thomas F. Oakes, vice president of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad and George Browne in platting 
the Oakes Addition, which was the old Kenevan Farm. Later the 
Lang place was bought by Radebaugh and others and the Hosmer 
Addition was made of it. Browne, Oakes and Radebaugh put in 
$2,000 each for the street car line, the purpose of which was to 
open their real estate holdings. The outlook for disposing of 
tbem was so favorable that thev had no difficultv in raising the 
remainder of the money necessary to build the line, buy cars and 


an eight-ton steam dummy. Besides the two additions in which 
Radehaugh Avas interested he owned 364 acres. 

The hne was opened April 4, 1888. It never paid, but it w^as 
a vahiable land-selHng adjunct and sometime after it was com- 
pleted Radebaugh bought his partners out and continued the 
track to Wapato Lake, where he expected to build a fashionable 
residence district. He already was completing plans for parking 
the lake property, and laying out the building spaces, which were 
to be large, and in a little while he employed Eben R. Roberts 
whose artistic sense and boundless enthusiasm soon began to make 
a floral fairyland of the place. It was the beginning of real park 
work in Tacoma and Roberts there began a notable public service 
that has continued to this day. The editor of an eastern maga- 
zine once pronounced him "Tacoma's most valuable citizen." 
Radebaugh spent about $.5,000 to continue the line to Wapato 
Lake, which began operations July 21, 1889. To extend it to 
South Tacoma he spent another $10,000, and a little later he built 
the branch to Puyallup, now known as the "Old Puyallup Line." 
He W'as a borrower in the banks to the amount of about $100,000, 
and the value of his land holdings w^as said by an appraisal com- 
mittee of bankers to be worth $364,000. He paid $22,000 cash 
for a sawmill and set it up at about Fifty-second and Asotin 
streets, and began to cut the timber in that locality. This mill 
afterward was sold to George E. Atkinson, who had been man- 
ager of the Tacoma JNIill Company, and Atkinson removed it to 
Gig Harbor where it proved to be a white elephant. 

Radebaugh was selling lots at a furious rate. All real estate 
w^as moving on a scale scarcely equalled in the history of town- 
booming, but those who were in the maelstrom were confident of 
its self-sustaining ability. The comi)letion of the Cascade brancli 
of the railroad, the increasing demands for the coal of this county, 
the rapid growth of shipping, the coming of the smelter and the 
St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company, togetlier witli many other 
smaller concerns, save buvers and sellers a faith that sustained 
them through a half dozen boisterous years, made a number of 
millionaires and formed tlic bases of several fortunes of lesser 
dimensions but of more permanent (juality. 

On the night of A])ril 22 William JNIartin, under sentence 
of death for the killing of Fred Xeitzel December 23, 1887, made 


a sensational escape from the Pierce County jail, leaving his 
guard, PI. L. Farley, locked in the death cell. When Martin was 
placed in the cell, after he had received his sentence, a box of fine 
sand had been given to him as a cuspidor. His ankles were ironed 
and he was fastened to the floor by a swivel chain. The mur- 
derer used the sand to wear away the head of one of the swivels, 
and broke the remaining fringe of iron while his guard slept. 
Farley a^^oke just as jNIartin was fastening the cell door behind 
him and it was more than an hour before he could arouse the other 
inmates of the jail and give the alarm. ^Martin had gone into a 
nearby woodshed where he chopped aw^ay his shackles with an 
axe. He then started north toward the beach where it is sup- 
posed he was provided with a boat. Early the next morning as 
JVIr. Clark, a farmer, was coming from Henderson Bay, he met 
IVIartin off Point Defiance, rowing northw^ard, his boat being- 
followed by another in which were two men who appeared to be 
aiding him. As JNIartin was the seventh man who had escaped 
from the jail since Sheriff Wilt had taken chai'ge, feeling against 
the sheriff ran high. It was charged that he had delayed starting 
the hunt until some hours after being informed that jNIartin was 
at large. Ten days later Martin was reported to have been 
in North Yakima where he had bought a horse of an Indian and 
had then gone north into the Okanagan country. 

Neitzel had a saloon in Old Tacoma, and late one evening 
Martin, who lived in a shack out toward the smelter, slipped into 
the saloon, and sliot Xeitzel for the purpose of robbery. Martin 
procured a sum of money and fled. He was shot by an officer 
as he ran, ])ut lie escaped, with a bad wound in the arm. Neitzel 
was a popular man, and jjosses at once were formed for the pur- 
suit of the murderer. No trace was found, however, until 
Martin, who was suffering terribly in his shack, sent word to the 
police that he w^ould like to surrender. The officers attempted 
to 'remove him stealthily, fearing mob violence, but they were 
trailed by a great crowd and for a time it appeared certain that 
a lynching w'ould follow. Martin was the least concerned man 
of all. He talked of his crime freely and humorously, and on the 
way to jail in a wagon he asked one of the officers: "Say, how far 
does a man drop when they hang him?" Martin never has been 








1888 DEXNIS RYAN's smelter plans COUNTY BUYS LOTS FOR 







The smelter project was taking form. The town builders 
were wary, as they had not forgotten an attempt to mulct them 
only a few months before, but when it definitelv was learned that 
Dennis Ryan, St. Paul millionaire, was behind the project there 
no longer was doubt of its financial solidity. Ryan had interests 
with him. C. D. Lamb and A. Lamb, of Clinton, la., P. and D. 
Musser, of Muscatine, la., F. C. A. Derkman, of Illinois, and F. 
and J. Weyerhaeuser, the lumbermen. Plans quickly w^ere con- 
cluded, and orders were placed in Chicago for the construction of 
special machinery for a 400-ton plant. It was designed as the 
most complete smelting plant in America. 

Col. J. W. Pinkerton was building a handsome 60-room hotel 
at C and 17th streets and wondering what to call it. He wanted 
an Indian name and finally went to the Atlantic Coast after 
"Massasoit." Allen C. ^Nlason had completed half of the JNIason 
Block at A and Tenth streets and bought Capt. Charles Clancey's 
residence just south of it for $10,000 and removed it to C Street 
between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth streets, where it still 
stands. Then he began building the south half of the Mason 
block. The Xorthern Pacific Railroad was filling in for the Half 
Moon Yards and reclaiming a considerable area wiiich before had 
been swept by the tides. 



The county coinniissioners had hrought down upon their heads 
a wealth of unkind criticism for buying the lots at Eleventh and 
G streets now occupied by tlie courthouse. They paid $9,000 
for the half square. This price was held b}^ many to be exorbi- 
tant, and there was much opposition to the plan of building a 
courthouse so far up the hill. It was before the day of street 
cars, and the attorneys who saw before them the climb of the long- 
grade were much disj^leased. The commissioners sought to com- 
fort them with the assurance that some time would elapse before 
a new courthouse could be built. An effort was made to per- 
suade the commissioners to dispose of the property and to buy 
instead the present site of the Tacoma Theater to be added to the 
site of the old courthouse just south of it. JNIany other down- 
town sites were suggested. 

It was fine news to the community that the Xorthern Pacific 
Railroad officials had accepted the offer of Vice President AValter 
J. Thompson, of the Chamber of Commerce, to use the Cham- 
ber's Building at Pacific Avenue and Thirteenth Street as the 
railroad headquarters' building until the railroad's own building 
was completed, and in a few days came Paul Schulze, the land 
agent of the company, and a large retinue of aides. Thus the 
railroad headquarters were removed from Portland to Tacoma. 

Republicans and democrats agreed on a citizens' ticket for the 
April, 1888, election. They named Ira A. Town for mayor; 
]M. ^I. Taylor for treasurer; Thomas Carroll for city attorney 
and C. O. Bean for surveyor. It was charged that radicalism 
long had discouraged capital, and that the town, by its anti-Chi- 
nese movement and other drastic enterprises, had gained a bad 
name in high places. The business leaders were hoping that a 
ticket composed of substantial conservative men might be chosen, 
with no contest to mar what appeared to he a unanimous com- 
munity movement along commercial and industrial lines, but that 
was not to be, as the Union Labor party was formed. 

This party held a mass meeting with A. ]Macready presiding, 
and a long and rather acrimonious debate ensued as to the differ- 
ence between comnumism and anarchy, this question having been 
raised when one of the members attempted to persuade the mass 
meeting to adopt as its own a platform adopted by the party in 


convention elsewhere, that i)latf orm embracing both the principles 
of communism and anarchy. Judge Wickersham, who was 
prominent in the meeting, declared that communism and anarchy 
were not at war, and that both consistently could be embraced in 
the platform, while J. ]M. Grant asserted that they were antip- 
odes. Ex-lNIayor Weisbach, Robert Stevens, Doctor Case, 
Thomas JMaloney, jNI. H. O'Connor and others vigorously ex- 
pounded their beliefs, and the meeting finally dissolved without 
making nominations. 

A few days later, however, another meeting was called and 
Jacob C. ^Nlann was nominated for mayor; Freemont Campbell, 
for city attorney; JNI. ]M. ^letcalf, for treasurer, and A. Wold, for 
surveyor. There followed then a vigorous campaign, in which 
the citizenry was urged by the one side to stand by the business 
interests of the community, while the other professed to stand 
for the rights of man, which some paragrapher quickly converted 
into the "rights of JNIann." The election resulted in an over- 
whelming victory for the business element. Town's majority 
being 583. 

These were wonderful days along the waterfront. June .3 
seventeen ships were loading lumber and coal. Balfour, Guthrie 
& Co., of Portland, were preparing to take advantage of the 
superior facilities of this port, alid Alexander Baillie w^as to arrive 
in a short time to superintend the loading of grain ships. The 
coal mines up the valley were pouring out their wealth for the 
California markets. California had not then discovered the oil 
which years later changed the coia*se of the fuel-carrying trade. 
August 30 came the A. G. Ropes, Captain D. H. Rivers, with 
3,771 tons of tea. When the Ro])es was built in Bath, Me., she 
was the largest merchant ship that ever came from an American 
yard. She carried 8,000 square yards of canvas, and her voyage 
from '^"okahama covered only thirty days — tlie fastest passage 
ever made by a sailing vessel. Slie was 300 feet in length and 
the distance from her deck to her skysail was 189 feet. The Ropes 
brought the largest cargo of tea tliat had yet been landed at tin's 
port. Great sailing vessels swung at anchor in the harbor oi- were 
tied to the coal and mill wharves. Occasionally the numl)er 


reached a score and on one occasion twenty-three great vessels 
were taking, or waiting to take, cargoes here. 

Frank C. Ross sold to W. B. Allen and Walter J. Thompson 
the southeast corner of Pacific Avenue and Eleventh Street, 
twenty-five feet, for $10,000, which was the highest price that 
ever had been reached for Tacoma real estate. Certainly it was 
a far cry from the pric